Speed limits on all Warfield streets have officially been lowered after council enacted new regulations for the village’s traffic bylaw last week.
A high volume of requests through delegations to council and petitions from parents arguing the posted speed limit of 40 km/hr was too high for village streets, led the municipality to lowering the limit by 10 km/hr.
The legal speed on all Warfield streets has gone from 40 km/hr to 30 km/hr, says Mayor Diane Langman.
Under the amended traffic bylaw, lanes and alleys remain at 20 km/hr, playgrounds at 30 km/hr, and school zones are still 30 km/hr.
Warfield council members met with heads of the Ministry of Transportation a few months ago, along with leaders from the school district and the Trail RCMP, regarding safety issues at the highway intersection adjacent to Webster Elementary School.
Langman says recommendations from that meeting, such as lobbying for flashing lights and/or an LED speed reader board, are still being worked on.
Well ahead of the annual Union of BC Municipalities Conference, held on the coast in September, Warfield leaders made a plan to meet with Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Unfortunately, the village’s request was declined.
“And when we further requested meetings with ministry staff, we were also refused,” Langman said.
Further, a copy of the village’s prepared ministerial presentation was provided to provincial staff, but that document was forwarded back to the southern interior ministry branch.
“Council is as frustrated as the public about this issue and sincerely wishes the province would deal with the crossing as it is a provincially-controlled highway,” Langman emphasized.
“Local governments do not have the ability to change provincial highways.”
There is another petition from Change.org being circulated, and Langman says council will bring it to the attention of the province.
“The intersection in Warfield is a difficult one where visibility is not ideal due to the curve in the road and to see that there is a crosswalk/light ahead,” she told the Trail Times.
“We are not able to change the direction of the highway nor the location of the school, so we must work with what we have. This is where I believe an underpass is the ideal solution along with continued police presence … When looking at the City of Trail, they have three underpasses under the highway and all three are directly related to safe crossings for children going to school.”
Langman reminds all of those travelling through Warfield that it is a school zone and that means the speed limit is 30 km/hr.
“As the adults in control of those vehicles, we all are able to make this crosswalk safe by complying with the speed zone and ensuring children and residents are safe crossing the road,” she said.
“The children and teachers who were involved previously in some pretty scary close calls did absolutely everything right; the education that our teachers and principal at Webster School in teaching our kids crosswalk safety is working. Unfortunately it is the drivers who are either ignoring the speed zone, distracted driving, trying to get to their location 30 seconds faster; those are the people who are creating the issue at our crosswalk,” Langman added.
“We appreciate the RCMP setting up at our school and their continued commitment towards the safety of our residents and children.”