Council asks for public input regarding closing alley

Council is holding off on a decision to close a portion of an alley near the school although RCMP recommend barricading it

Council is holding off on a decision to close a portion of an alley near the school although RCMP recommend barricading it may be the best way to stop speeding motorists who pay no attention to traffic laws.

At its regular meeting Oct. 23, council held a lengthy discussion about the alley behind Drader Crescent, finally agreeing to ask for public input before making a decision.

Council has received several complaints about speeders in the alley and asked the RCMP for recommendations as to how to deal with the issue.

These recommendations, which were included in the council package, included closing off the alleyway entrance between 5323 and 5319 as it joins Drader Crescent or closing off the road between the school and the water tower property.

Installing speed bumps at the west end of 54 Avenue as it enters into the school bus barn property and near the entrance of the school where the bus lane joins 52 Street was suggested as another solution. However, if speed bumps were used, RCMP also recommend putting up fencing to close off the school’s parking area so motorists wouldn’t use that area as a detour.

In a memo to council, assistant CAO Melissa Beebe said the fire department and the owners of Cast-A-Waste were also contacted regarding closing the alley.

Beebe said the best option would be to close the alleyway entrance between 5323 and 5319 Drader Crescent and allow only pedestrian access.

“This would not impede the residents that currently have access to the back lane,” she said.

However, Coun. Scott Ellis raised concerns about blocking off that portion of the alley.

“My concern is about public access and public space. What is the logic for blocking off public access space? That is an alley that everyone in town has paid for. I feel it is public access space and we have to be careful how we block I off. We need to have a framework on how we deal with this.”

“My concern is the school buses and kids coming from both sides,” added Coun. Gayle Rondeel. “My point is it’s dangerous.”

Rondeel said traffic needs to be restricted, at least during certain times in the day, before someone gets hurt.

“It’s a safety issue,” said Mayor Sheldon Ibbotson. “It’s not just perception; it’s true, speeding is an issue.”

Coun. Paul Payson said closing it seemed a logical solution. “I can’t see any negatives other than a few people having to drive a little further.”

CAO Tony Goode said there have been several complaints from Kansas Ridge residents about speeding in the alley.

“That’s why we put the 30 K sign up, but nobody pays any attention to it.”

Council agreed speed bumps were not a viable solution as they would make grading difficult.

Council agreed to advertise the possible closure of the alley between 5323 and 5319 Drader Crescent for two weeks in the Rimbey Review and the public is asked to provide input before a decision is made.