Why put bike lanes at schools?

On June 28, the last day of school at Eastview Middle School, I received an email from the school asking parents to read important information from the City of Red Deer regarding traffic changes that were going to occur over the summer.

On June 28, the last day of school at Eastview Middle School, I received an email from the school asking parents to read important information from the City of Red Deer regarding traffic changes that were going to occur over the summer.

I opened the attached document and was surprised to read that the city was planning on putting in bike lanes on 39th Street and 40th Avenue and that these lanes would change the current four-lane traffic in front of Eastview Middle School, Maryview School and St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School into two-lane traffic.

If you are a parent of a child at any one of these schools, you can understand the panic I felt when I read about this change! The traffic in the mornings and afternoons at these schools rivals the local high schools, the malls on a busy day and even the Westerner after a hockey game.

There is so much traffic around the corner of 39th Street and 40th Avenue that Eastview School is committed to sending a teacher out every morning and afternoon to be certain the children can get across the crosswalks safely.

I can’t even begin to imagine what chaos will occur if there are only two lanes of traffic; can you see parents that drop off or pick up their little ones in the parking lot of Maryview School getting blocked in because westbound traffic on 39th Street is backed up past St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School?

That is a very likely scenario.

The article gave an email address that could be used for comments and questions to the Engineering Department at the City of Red Deer so I sent them an email that same day asking them how this particular area was selected for the pilot project and how traffic was going to flow.

I am a daily reader of the Advocate and listen to and watch local news and this was the first I had heard of the project in the Eastview area.

You guessed it — no response! So if there are other parents out there who are concerned about what the traffic will look like come this fall in front of Eastview Middle School, Maryview School and St. Thomas Aquinas Middle School, send an email or call the local Engineering Department of the City of Red Deer for an explanation on how this site was chosen for the Commuter Bike Pilot Program and what is going to be done to address traffic issues.

The information on the document was Engineering Department, City of Red Deer, engineering@reddeer.ca, 403-342-8158.

Kim McCallister

Red Deer

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