Seniors are speaking out about lead-footed drivers speeding along side streets in order to avoid the main drag.
Both 98th Street and 102nd Street are smaller roads, but are being used by speeders to bypass the traffic – and the traffic calming measures – along 100th Street
“Motorists are using it as a primary road rather than a secondary road because 100th Street – it has pedestrian crossings and lights,” said Corporal Jodi Shelkie.
She noted that going north on 98th, after the four way stop on 101 Avenue, there’s a “straight thoroughfare” until 112 Avenue.
Shelkie said she was recently asked to speak with seniors who live at the Peace Lutheran Apartments about how to walk safely across 98th Street because motorists sometimes race by.
“They stated that the reason they wanted (the session) was because they’re doing everything they can to protect their safety, even though the tip I was giving was stuff they all knew,” said Shelkie.
She said it that people were not stopping at the crosswalk and also that it appeared people were going “much faster” than the speed limit of 50 km per hour.
Pierre Gregoire, a resident at Peace Lutheran Apartments, said approximately 50 people came to the safety session that Shelkie put on. He said residents were concerned about “getting hit.”
“We had a seminar with the RCMP… to talk to people about how to cross and how to take care of themselves while they’re going down the sidewalks and that,” said Gregoire.
“We come up with the idea of having one of those signs that tells you the speed that you’re going,” he said.
Shelkie noted that police have increased patrols on 98th Street.
“We do have the speed watch group, they went out there and put up the speed board so people can see it,” she explained.
The temporary board flashes the speed that vehicles are travelling and Gregoire thinks it’s helping.
“It’s working really well,” he said. “I spent a few days keeping an eye on that sign and it really reduced the speed.
“There’s still guys who are speeding, but there’s only one way to stop them, and the cops are how to do it,” Gregoire continued. He said he’s noticed the extra RCMP patrols.
Shelkie said this is positive because the seniors cross this road often.
“They’re in apartments, so many of them are quite mobile, so many of them walk down 98th Street to go to doctors appointments and optometrists appointments and go to the grocery store and stuff,” she said.
“But the sidewalk was built on the west side of 98th, so they have to cross the street to get onto the sidewalk to walk safely and they’ve just noticed that when they’re out there and they do press the lights, people don’t see them or they’re not stopping.”
She thinks motorists should slow down throughout the city.
“I think it’s important that people realize, especially this time of year – back to school is just around the corner and we always keep reminding people to slow down in school zones and stuff, but there’s lots of zones in Fort St. John that are zoned 30 km per hour that aren’t school zones,” she said.
She said not only should people pay attention to where there’s a difference in speed zones, but should be watching with their peripheral vision to see who’s on the sidewalks as well.
“Many of the seniors are very mobile and don’t have any difficulty walking,” said Shelkie. “People should be watching more and paying attention more.
“If people are using 98th or 102nd, they’ve got to realize the speed limit is still 50, even though you’ve got a thoroughfare of 11 blocks to basically follow the speed limit – keep your eyes open for pedestrians who may be crossing.”