A delegation of Dogwood area residents urged the Town of Ladysmith council to do something about aggressive, speeding drivers in their neighbourhood.
Griffin Russell and Gord Long spoke on behalf of about a dozen people who attended the Aug. 17 council meeting. They said drivers are ignoring posted speed limits and putting people – including children – at risk.
“As residents, it’s quite uncomfortable, and that’s putting it lightly,” Russell said. “There’s quite a few people who are affected by this.”
Concerned residents have posted a Facebook site to raise awareness about the issue and build support for initiatives that will mitigate the problem.
But they know it won’t be easy. Russell said the attitudes and behaviour of drivers is upsetting when residents are trying to cross the road. “Sometimes they’re honking angrily,” he said.
The neighbourood – south of the Holland Creek S-curve and dip on Dogwood Drive – is concerned that someone is going to get hit going to collect their mail at Dogwood Drive near North Davis Road or to play in Holland Creek Ball Park.
He noted that pets have “already been lost.”
Residents have launched an initiative called The Dogwood Drive Challenge on Facebook to raise awareness about their problem.
“A child was almost run over at the crosswalk this past year,” said resident Terry Doherty in one post. “A flashing crosswalk sign is needed with a button to activate it. We know it is expensive but lives are priceless.”
Russell noted that Dogwood Drive used to be posted as a 30 kph zone. But now there’s no indication it is a reduced speed zone, and drivers are assuming it’s a 50 kph zone.
“But people are going well in excess of that throughout the day,” he said. “There isn’t any reason that shouldn’t be designated as a park zone and posted at 30 kilometres per hour,” he told council.
He suggested raised crosswalks on either side of ‘the dip’ as a possible solution.
Mayor Aaron Stone said he thought there were playground signs on Dogwood because of Holland Creek Ball Park, and that the speed limit in designated playground zones is 30 kph from dawn to dusk, whether or not it’s posted.
He suggested ‘tabs’ be put under the playground signs in the area reminding drivers of the 30 kph limit, and referring the matter to staff.
Long, citing American Automobile Association statistics that show almost half of traffic fatalities are caused by aggressive and speeding drivers, said the problem exists throughout Ladysmith, not just along Dogwood Drive.
“I would like to see if we could have a huge push for answers,” he said.