Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Traffic Calming

I like that phrase. It sounds much more pleasing to the ear than traffic control, and even though it anthropomorphizes traffic (because, in truth, it's the drivers who are responsible for the behaviour of traffic, not the traffic itself), it makes sense to me. Here in Prince George there are very few sidewalks, and on our street there are precisely none. Even worse, the street we live on is the only way in and out of this neighbourhood. And, of course, each day the boys have to walk to the end of the block to catch the bus to school, and then they have to walk back at the end of the day.

This wouldn't be an issue if traffic was indeed calm, but it isn't. School hours for Aidan and Brennan coincide, roughly, with school hours for high school kids who drive. And they coincide with rushed mothers and fathers trying to get their kids to school so they can head off to work or to shop or to work out. It gets worse in the winter, when the snow falls and stays and narrows the width of the road and makes it more difficult for everyone to walk on the lawns (memo to self: politely tell off the neighbour who insists we not walk on her grass, next time she hassles us) and many drivers drive the same bloody speed they drive when the roads are dry.

Fourteen houses have been built up the road from us, adding that much more traffic. When they announced the plans I phoned the city and asked it this meant sidewalks were going to be installed. The woman I talked to thought they were, but only where the new homes were. Not surprisingly, not even that happened. An email to the mayor went unanswered, but now that the election is over perhaps he'll deign to have the time for me; I doubt it, but call me Pollyanna. But in the meantime, it might be a good idea to track down some old living room furniture and see how it goes with the asphalt.

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