Traffic issues not so easy to resolve

Dear Editor:

Last week’s letter to the editor regarding parking in Rimbey makes me shake my head and wonder where C. Parker is coming from. First of all, if you can’t parallel park a vehicle then you shouldn’t be driving. It is part of the exam you must take to get a driver’s license.

As a retired member of a law enforcement agency and as an analyst in traffic issues, I know angle parking, according to statistics, creates more accidents than parallel parking does. Remember, when you are backing up and strike something, you are at fault. In Australia they angle park but they back into the stalls so they can see when they are re-entering the roadway. Great idea.

As for putting three vehicles in the space of one parallel-parked vehicle, you must be kidding — two at the most if you want to open you doors. I do agree that courteous drivers certainly make it pleasant to manoeuvre around a town or city. Four-way stops were designed to have traffic flow in an even and equal way and prevent accidents at intersections since traffic signals are expensive. If you haven’t read your driver’s manual lately, when two vehicles approach a four-way stop at the same time, the vehicle on the right has the right of way; simple, no arguing about who can be the most courteous. Giving up your right of way can create an accident, as most other drivers don’t expect the unexpected.

Semi-tractor units do park near the GTI and park right up against the crosswalk. The Alberta Traffic Act states you must park no closer than five metres from the near side of the crosswalk or stop sign. The reason is so drivers have a better opportunity to see pedestrians. The crossing lights are a warning to drivers that a pedestrian wants to cross and that you must stop — and the fine is very high for failing to do so. Too many people have been killed because they have not been seen by drivers because of illegally parked vehicles.

Erecting more signs is not effective unless there is enforcement and consequences to go with it.

The bylaw officer quoted in the article about the parking issues in Rimbey is bang on with his assessment. Unfortunately, implementing changes for drivers who are set in their ways and getting a town to make the changes is just about impossible.

J. Bell, Rimbey

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