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Too much traffic on street to Racquet Club, say neighbours

Simon Whitehouse
Northern News Services
Published Friday, May 25, 2012

Racquet Club users from the Niven Lake area may have to take a different route after some area neighbours complained about the amount of traffic.

Mike Palmer, a resident of the area for the last six years, is putting together a petition to have 49A Avenue made into a one-way route. Currently, 49A Avenue is a two-way street, but it is very narrow and has a 30 km per hour limit, which some neighbours say is too fast.

The city seems to be behind the plan, he says, based on his ongoing consultation with director of Public Works and Engineering Dennis Kefalas.

"It sounds like they are pretty keen on it as long as we have support," Palmer said. "There are a lot of kids who live in this neighbourhood and it is a bit of a thoroughfare for people from Niven cutting through to the Racquet Club. Instead of making the left-hand turn down Franklin, they cut down through our street, which is like a little laneway."

He says there is a longer wait for traffic when turning left onto Franklin, so it is just easier for many cars to turn down 49A. Now about six families on the street are getting vocal about it.

One of those families includes Jessica Mace and her husband Spencer Tracy.

"We just find that street super busy and it is a small residential street," said Mace, who has been living on the road for five years. "People tend to cut down from Niven to the Racquet Club and they are often speeding because they are late for their exercise class or squash game."

Because people go to the club driving noon hours and after-work hours this seems to be when people find cars flying by, she said.

Mace said it might be a good idea to have a Do Not Enter sign at the top of the hill to cut down on traffic. With two kids under three years old, she said there is a concern about the danger to children. People park along the route, and there is a constant worry about kids stepping out in front of oncoming traffic.

Mace said some residents meet about three times a year to maintain the garden in the community park and discuss neighbourhood issues like traffic and garbage cleanup.

About 10 households know about the initiative, but not all neighbours have been informed.

"With this we thought of different ways because we didn't want to inconvenience people and we decided it might be good to have a Do Not Enter sign on the top of the street," she said. "We're hoping to cut down on traffic and have mainly local traffic on the street."

Mayor Gord Van Tighem said the city has done some things in the area to improve the situation, such as put in street lighting. However it may be necessary to seek further restrictions.

"That street was not meant as a means for outside traffic street but for local traffic," he said. "Where there has been concern has been when it might be used as a shortcut."

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