Penticton and South Okanagan
Mar 6, 2013 / 4:38 pm
After discussing the issue of cars speeding by Parkway Elementary School at a Penticton city council meeting in February, the item was back on the agenda this week.
With Councillor Garry Litke on board to vote this time around, the council approved the purchase of a speed reader board with 50 percent funding from the school's PAC.
“It is for safety of the children on the streets, it's as simple as that," Litke said. "And it's only right to create the partnership with parents for the speed reader board."
The issue was sent back to staff at the February meeting as they discussed other alternatives such as speed bumps at the school and the reintroduction of photo radar.
The latter remains under consideration, as the council passed a motion to send a resolution to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities and Southern Interior Local Government Association, asking the provincial government to reconsider allowing photo radar in school and playground zones only.
The decision to help fund the reader board was well received by Parkway principal Kelly Jones.
“This is excellent and everyone here in the school community is very happy with the council’s support,” he said.
Jones said the school is close to getting the $4,000 it needs to raise toward the cost of the board. Once that is done, they will alert the city, with the understanding it will contribute the remainder of the cost for installation.
Reader boards cost approximately 8,000. Eventually the school hopes to get two more to put on Kinney Avenue, next to the school, and nearby Warren Avenue.
The school has had an ongoing problem with people speeding on Kinney.
Two years ago, a grade 5 student working as a monitor was hit by a car in the middle of the crosswalk. Her feet were run over and she is sill recovering.
In reaction to the incident, they put out pylons and wooden crossing guards, Safety Sam and Safety Sally. But that still did not deter the speeders.
Both guards have been hit by cars several times. When Sam was broken in half, he was placed in a wheelchair to get the message across.
Permanent speed reader boards are a better answer, believes Jones.
Photo radar could help as well, but that was never the school’s goal, he said.
“We wouldn’t be opposed to that, because anything that slows down speeders is good,” he said.
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