Where the rubber hits the road

Ty Dunham
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Speeding traffic on Vanier Avenue in Labrador City has led to residences approaching council for a solution.

Labrador City residents are approaching the town hall this Tuesday with names of residents on Vanier Avenue who wants to see a reduction in speeding traffic.

Tina Spurrell said she sees traffic speeding day and night far above the 40 km/h speed limit.

“They make the turn off Carol (Drive) and they’re putting the gas to the floor. Some are coming from the highway, so I don’t know if it’s because they were at a higher speed and they make the turn without coming down much.”

Spurrell says her own daughter was almost struck on two separate occasions as she used the crosswalk. She said the problem has led to teaching her kids unorthodox methods of crossing the street safely.

“Usually you instruct children not to run if they're crossing the road. But our children are learning that you stop, and if someone stops for you, you go to the front of the vehicle and if it looks clear you run. Because that's how quickly the cars are coming down the street.”

Children don’t play on the street like other kids play hockey on other quieter roads, she said. The children cross the road only to go from one neighbour’s house to another.

Little signage is available on Vanier Avenue, with only a crosswalk with faded lines.

The speeding problem has been known for years, she said.

“I've had people say to me, ‘When we moved here we had two criteria for housing; we didn't want to live in an attached house and we weren't going to live on Vanier.’”

Spurrell walked door-to-door gathering signatures for a letter of support from the residences that can’t attend the town council meeting on July 3, but it has taken longer than she anticipated.

“I went around the street the other day and did not get very far at all. Every house I went to had people who were more than willing to sign but everyone had two or three stories about speeding to tell me.” Tina Spurrell

“I went around the street the other day and did not get very far at all. Every house I went to had people who were more than willing to sign but everyone had two or three stories about speeding to tell me.”

The letter of support first began when three neighbours met together to brainstorm over resolving the issue. Spurrell spoke with Mayor Karen Oldford, who suggested she contact the media and make an appointment with the town council.

“I went around to get signatures, not as a petition because it’s not a protest, but more to say this is not a couple people on a bandwagon. Many people are in agreement. Something needs to be done before someone is killed.”

As she knocks on the neighbour’s doors, Spurrell said she’s also receiving ideas and gaining grounds to present to council.

“One gentlemen suggested it be a one-way street. I don't know if that would work, this is all new to me; I've never had to think this through. But when my baby almost gets knocked down, I start thinking about it.”

Spurrell said more of a police presence could be an immediate help, along with ticketing drivers.

“There seems to be more police presence at night to combat the vandalism, which is important. But vandalism for the most part is material things, while I'm looking at my children who can't be replaced. To me it's way more important than preventing garbage cans from being tipped over.”

 

reporter@theaurora.ca

Geographic location: Labrador

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