Red Deer resident Brandon Bouchard took a front seat to the traffic problems in his Parkvale neighbourhood.
On Saturday, Bouchard, 38, staged a peaceful “sit in” at the intersection of 45th Street and 46th Avenue.
The father of two called attention to the motorists who ignore the speed limits and treat his neighbourhood streets like a racetrack.
Bouchard set up a patio set with chairs around 9 a.m. and didn’t leave until 2:30 p.m. He collected 185 signatures on a petition calling on the city to implement traffic calming measures in Parkvale.
Traffic calming is a technique used to slow or divert vehicle traffic to improve safety. Common examples may include street islands with planters, speed bumps and yield signs.
“There’s five uncontrolled intersections and a playground zone,” said Bouchard, who has lived on the corner of the intersection he was occupying for nearly a year.
“People just ignore the rules of the road. They are flying through the intersection.”
Bouchard said most people in the neighbourhood know there’s a playground zone with a speed limit is 30 km/hr. He said it’s the motorists who use the streets as a short cut to avoid the lights on the main streets.
“I watch it every day,” said Bouchard, also a member at large of the Parkvale Community Association.
“It’s frustrating to watch.”
Peter McNamara, 44, who lives across the street from Bouchard’s house with his two daughters aged 10 and 11, says he’s worried about the safety of his children and the other children in the neighbourhood.
“It’s been a nightmare,” said McNamara, who moved from Mountview to Parkvale more than a year ago.
“People are doing at least 60 or 70 km/hour … They just get up their speed and fly through here. It’s horrible.”
McNamara said he would really like to see photo radars in the older neighbourhoods like Parkvale in Red Deer.
“With all the photo radars they have at all the main intersections why not in an area that is designated as a park area?,” said McNamara, 44.
Danielle Black Fortin said the full length of the street is a problem, not just one intersection. She says drivers are simply not paying attention.
Rita Schuetz, a resident since 1987, said the traffic has increasingly become an issue over the years.
On her daily walks, she notices cars “zooming” through the streets.
“We have our granddaughter staying with us a lot and she goes over to the park and there’s always cars zooming through here,” said Schuetz.
“There’s a lot of children here. They certainly aren’t doing 30 km/hr maybe 70 or 80 km/hr.”
Schuetz said she wants motorists to follow the rules of the road and observe the posted speed limits.
Bouchard said in the past the Parkvale Community Association has asked the city for specific traffic calming measures such as yield signs but were turned down.
This time, he said, they are simply asking for traffic calming to give the city more options to consider.