Parksville residents plead for lower speed limit near Foster Park

The popular park has had a few 'near misses' in the past

Foster Park is re-born, a gem in the middle of a large neighbourhood with a new playground and other improvements, full of the voices of children having fun.

Danger lurks, however, and always has it seems. Residents of Pym and Sanderson roads came to Parksville city council on Monday night, asking for speed bumps, rumble strips, a lower speed limit‚ anything to avert a tragedy they see as inevitable.

“Children and seniors are at high risk,” said Herb Welch, a Sanderson Road resident who lives right across the street from the park. “We have seen several near misses.”

City staff said Monday they are preparing a report regarding playgrounds and possible traffic calming measures, but some councillors pushed for faster action.

“Right now we have an issue that’s in front of us, that’s immediate,” said Coun. Kirk Oates, echoing the sentiments of Coun. Leanne Salter. “There’s no reason why (the roads around) Foster Park shouldn’t be at 30 km-h.”

Jim McMillan, a Pym Road resident, suggested things will only get worse with the addition of homes being built in two small subdivisions in the area.

“Traffic volumes will only increase,” he said.

Director of engineering Vaughn Figueira said the city is currently collecting speed and volume data in the area around Foster Park. He said he would be presenting that information to council in the next month. Changes to a speed limit require bylaw changes, a process that can take a few council meetings, possibly more than a couple of months.

That wasn’t quite fast enough action for some of council. Oates made a motion asking for staff’s report on data to include a resolution with the wording for changes to the bylaw that would reduce the speed limit to 30 km-h on the roads adjacent to Foster Park.

The motion passed unanimously and Figueira said he would do his best to get the info and the bylaw changes in front of council for its next meeting, Oct. 19.

• Representatives of the United Way (Central and North Vancouver Island) appeared before council to encourage donations to this year’s campaign and point out some of the programs in Parksville that benefit from those funds.

Signy Madden and Jody MacDonald showed council a video that highlighted this year’s campaign theme, Together We Are Possibility.

Madden said “local donations stay local. The more money we can raise in Parksville, the more we can fund in Parksville.”

The United Way campaign has benefitted local organizations like the SOS, Forward House and the Errington Therapeutic Riding Association. To learn more about the United Way or to donate, visit www.uwcnvi.ca.

• Council passed a motion directing staff to erect a memorial plaque and tree to honour the memory of former councillor and community advocate Caroline Waters, who died recently at the age of 57 (see story about Waters in the Oct. 6 edition of The NEWS or online at www.pqbnews.com/news/330893531.html). Council passed a similar motion to honour the recently departed Jim Banks, also a former city councillor (see story in today’s paper, page A25 and also on this website).

• Council passed a motion to continue a lease agreement for Telus to have cell tower on city land near Top Bridge that brings the city $10,000 in revenue a year. Salter was the only councillor opposed, pointing to health concerns with cell towers.

“Is $10,000 worth the deaths of our friends and children,” asked Salter.

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