Letter: Lower speed limit through city

The City of Rossland has taken a positive step towards increasing safety—a great idea for Grand Forks, writes Dave Milton.

In reducing the speed limit on its city roads, the City of Rossland has taken a positive step towards increasing safety for all road users and pedestrians, reducing noise and pollution and enhancing the livability of their mountain town.

In responding to at least some of the questions posed in Roy Ronaghan’s recent piece entitled “A place called Grand Forks,” emulating Rossland’s lead might be a comfortable place for all of us to start. His article, after all, begs the questions of what sort of place do we wish to live in.

I shall concede that there are big differences between our two communities, well known enough to not qualify here.

As we all become more aware of the ravages of climate degradation, surely affecting the quality of all our lives, it is both timely and prudent to test the notion of a similar initiative here.

Rossland has reduced its limits on city streets from 40 km/h to 30 km/h, in school zones down to 20 km/h and in drop-off zones down to 15 km/h, by any measure courageous and sensible steps that will meet high levels of local approval and make their town an even more pleasant and safe place to live in.

For Grand Forks, Highway 3 will be the bone of contention although it need not be so: The  3.5 kilometres from Spraggett Road to the Granby Bridge at a steady 50 km/h, highly unlikely under almost all circumstances due to school crossings, traffic lights, turning vehicles, stray dogs, skateboarders, errant cyclists and the other usual impediments, takes four minutes and twelve seconds.

The same distance, driven at a steady 30 km/h, also unlikely, takes seven minutes, a time differential of a piddling two minutes and forty-eight seconds.

The question becomes, should we invoke measures of city-wide speed reductions for the sake of less than three minutes on Highway 3? I think the answer is a no-brainer but you can bet your bottom dollar that, for as long as time is perceived to equal money, the professional associations representing truck loggers, long-distance haulers and so-on, will contest it.

Which I find strange because so many of them live here one would expect they’d have a vested interest in the livability of our community and go for it.

And the two lovely articles from Vanessa and Katelyn last week—brim-full of youthful optimism and vigour—indicate desire to become involved. I’d be the first to agree that the world is their oyster although, by this letter, suggest there is still much to be done on their doorstep before they go.

– Dave Milton, Grand Forks