The importance of playground zones for the safety of children
Councillor Bev Esslinger
May 15, 2018
There has been a lot of conversation lately about playground zones and the guidelines and rules around implementing playground zones. I wanted to take this opportunity to revisit why I have always supported playground zones and their importance for the safety of children.
The lower speed limit in playground zones (30km/h):
- Increases livability of neighbourhoods;
- Moves us towards Vision Zero, the City’s goal of zero traffic related fatalities and serious injuries; and
- Protect vulnerable road users: children.
Since the implementation of playground zones has only recently been completed here in Edmonton, we can look to the City of Calgary for the impacts of implementing playground zones and changing school zones to playground zones. In 2017, the City of Calgary worked with the University of Calgary to conduct a before-and-after study to determine the impacts of combining school and playground zone signs and the times they are in effect. The results of the study indicate:
- The average speed decreased from 36 km/h to 30 km/h.
- The number of collisions involving pedestrians within school and playground zones decreased by 33 percent, with a 70 percent decrease between 5:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.
- More than 80 percent of the respondents found it easier to remember the zone times with a single zone type that is consistent throughout the year.
To recap, playground zones lowered speeds, and lowered collisions, especially outside of regular school zone hours. This increased safety is the goal of playground zones and something I fully support.
So when you see the signs reminding you to slow to 30 km/hr from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week, 365 days a year, please remember why it’s important to slow down.
ATCO has provided me with information on Projects happening in Ward 2 this year.
- Replacement of approximately 0.5km of steel main and 36 residential and commercial services in the community of Spruce Avenue between Princess Elizabeth Avenue and 114 Ave near 105/106 Street.
- Work will be coordinate diwth City of Edmonton Neighbourhood Renewal
Proposed Construction time: 2 Months
- Replacement of approximately 3.3km of steel main and 211 residential services in the community of Inglewood between 114 and 118 Avenues and 127 Street and Groat Road.
Proposed Construction time: 3 Months
Campbell Road Park and Ride
- Relocate 500m of 323 mm high pressure natural gas transmission pope and install a valve assembly.
– Construction noise during regular work hours
– Lane closures and reduced parking
More information can be found here
Our bus routes are changing
Our city is growing and changing, which means Edmonton’s bus routes need to change too. In 2020, the ETS bus network will look completely different. This transformation will introduce new kinds of routes that will help you move across the city more quickly and efficiently.
Routes will be grouped into four types including: frequent bus routes, rapid bus routes, crosstown routes and local routes. Each of these routes will be straighter with less overlap between them. Inner areas of the city will see an increase of service throughout the day while outer suburban areas will see more service during rush hour for commuters. Check out the routes maps at edmonton.ca/newbusroutes.
In order for the City to provide faster or more frequent service, some people may need to walk up to 10 minutes to get to a bus stop. The City recognizes this is not possible for some residents, so a study is underway to see how other cities manage this situation to ensure most everyone can get to where they are going.
The next sessions closest to the northwest area are:
Date: Thursday April 26, 2018
Location: Inglewood Community Hall
12515 116 Avenue
Date: Saturday May 26, 2018
Location: TELUS World of Science (IMAX Lobby)
11211 142 Street
Today is International Women’s Day. Its a day where we can look at the progress that we have had, but also a day to reflect on how we can continue bringing progress. I think that the message of International Women’s Day is that there is more work to do. We all do this work together and as we step up and speak up we will continue to see change!
Together we can made Edmonton a better place for all women, today and in the future.
On February 21, I had the pleasure of talking to over 40 industry executives and local business owners about traffic safety at the Vision Zero Corporate and Industry Symposium.
The long-term goal of Vision Zero Edmonton is to eliminate traffic fatalities and serious injuries. We want our friends, family members, and employees to arrive safely at their destination and return home at the end of the day. Tragically, many people have lost a friend or family member to a traffic collision. That is why it was so exciting to see a room full of business leaders learning what Vision Zero is and how they can be part of making our streets safer.
Business owners have a vested interest in traffic safety because they want their friends, family members and employees arriving home safe at the end of the day. Losing an employee to a traffic crash means they lose a friend as well as a trusted and skilled employee. Collisions also put work vehicles out of commision, raise insurance rates, and increase the risk of liability.
A Vision Zero principle recognizes that eliminating fatalities and serious injuries is a shared responsibility between road users and those who design and maintain our roadways. To reach our Vision Zero goal will take all of us. The City is working towards Vision Zero using a data-based approach, to systematically upgrade intersections, improve safety measures around schools, upgrade crosswalks, and lower speeds where vulnerable road users interact with vehicles.
Symposium participants listened to traffic safety experts from Germany and Sweden, heard about what Vision Zero is accomplishing in Edmonton, asked questions, and discussed traffic safety. They agreed that industry and government should work together to end road deaths and serious injuries. Eight representatives from the group agreed to meet together again to determine possible next steps and then to share their suggestions with all the attendees.
I am thankful for those who showed their commitment to safer roads, and I am excited to see what happens next.
Last week I put forward a notice of motion for Administration to look into the possibly of a new Seniors Community Hub. Here are my thoughts on why its important.
The civic precinct is at the end of its life and needing to be redone, in the process the City has to bring everything up to the new Alberta Health standards. There have been various conversations around Council about whether we should rebuild the pool maintaining its current depth, or if we should change …
The start of the construction season at Blatchford means the City of Edmonton is one step closer towards the realization of this exciting community. Crews were on site in early May to begin installing the underground utilities that will service the first stage of residential units.
The work planned this year includes installing storm, sanitary and water servicing as well as piping for the district energy sharing system. The district energy sharing system will provide heating, cooling and hot water to the buildings in Blatchford, and is one of the most innovative environmental initiatives planned in the community.
Once the deep utilities have been installed, crews will start constructing the roads to service the first set of buildings. Later this year, crews are planning to begin drilling the boreholes under the first stormwater pond for the geo-exchange, which is one of the renewable energy sources for the district energy sharing system.
In addition to the construction work, the City is also continuing the commitment to reducing Blatchford’s environmental footprint by recycling the former runways at the site. The runway materials (concrete, asphalt and gravel) will be used to construct future roads in the community.
The builder selection process will begin this summer, with presale of the first townhome and condominium units expected in 2018.
I am confident the first residents in Blatchford will see that the concept of building for people has always been at the centre of our vision for Blatchford. It will be a neighbourhood where great urban design will allow people to live a more sustainable, active and community-based lifestyle. And as the neighbourhood develops, it will also be an exciting time for the residents and businesses who surround Blatchford, as new amenities and park spaces become available for everyone to use.
Find out more about the plans for this community and keep up to date on the latest construction news at BlatchfordEdmonton.ca.
The City of Edmonton is reinstating the Community Sandboxes program. Approximately 150 sandboxes that were previously part of the program will be returned to their former spots by February 11, and they will be filled with sand and ready for use by residents during the following week.
Sand is provided as a courtesy during winter weather. Pick up free sand at participating community leagues throughout the City to use on your icy sidewalks and walkways. Remember to bring your own container when you visit your local community sandbox.
If there are neighbourhoods that never had a sandbox previously and would like one, we ask that they go through their community league to request them. The community league is then asked to call 311 to make the request on behalf of the neighbourhood. For neighbourhoods with no community league, those residents can call 311 directly to make the request.