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Vernon parents left frustrated with City Hall over student safety

Beairsto parents are worried about increased traffic around the school after a proposed drive-through Tim Hortons and CO-OP Gas Bar is built on 35 Avenue.
March 24, 2015 - 7:28 PM

VERNON - Vernon parents are disappointed local government isn’t planning to do more to make the roads around Beairsto School safer as a drive-through Tim Hortons is built across the street.

Out of 11 traffic safety recommendations made by the Beairsto Parent Advisory Council — such as widening sidewalks, reducing the speed limit on 27 Street to 30 km/h, and providing paid crossing guards — many were not supported by the City of Vernon.

Darlene Wood, the chair of Beairsto’s Traffic Safety Committee, says parents are deeply concerned for their kids’ safety in light of the new Tim Hortons and Gas Bar development going up on 35 Avenue across from the school.

“If you look at any of the Tim Hortons in the city and elsewhere, there’s an overspill from the drive-throughs right onto the streets. We think that’s going to have a huge impact,” Wood says.

She says parents are frustrated the city isn’t taking more action to establish traffic calming measures and other safety components.

“I was hoping there would be more concern for their safety but it’s almost like we’ve been sold out for development,” Wood says.  “Our kids are the ones that are going to suffer as a result.”

The city did agree to some of the recommendations, such as installing fully controlled intersection lights at the intersection of 27 Street and 35 Avenue, improvements which are tied to the new Tim Hortons. The developer must contribute $80,000 towards the upgrades as part of the agreement for his development permit.

In its response to the committee’s recommendations, the city also announced certain parking changes that Wood feels are a step in the wrong direction, like removing parking on 35 Avenue. As a non-catchment school, Wood says there are many parents driving their kids and there could be more if busing routes are reduced in the future. With the changes, she says parents have been left with only enough drop-off space for about six cars at a time.

At the direction of Coun. Juliette Cunningham, city council voted to set up a meeting with members of the Beairsto PAC, School District 22 and city representatives to discuss safety issues around the school.

“These concerns aren’t going to go away,” Cunningham said.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infonews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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