I want to start off by thanking Squamish council for being proactive and making streets in Garibaldi Highlands somewhat safer.
My family and I have lived on The Boulevard for 28 years.
When the University bridge was built residents were concerned about the amount of traffic and speed that would follow. Many of us attended public meetings as we were not in favor of roundabouts.
This is a residential street and to keep telling residents that traffic needs to keep moving is wrong. So, we live with the speed, more traffic and big trucks, and all that has been made worse because of the closure of the Mamquam Road.
So, we now have The Boulevard as a school zone, and I am happy to see the new signs but that happiness turns into frustration and anger when I see so many vehicles are simply not obeying the signs.
Recently, I called the public works yard and asked if they could put “NEW” signs above the posted school signs. Perhaps, the district could use a bright orange colour as that would surely stand out and be seen.
But I have watched for a few more weeks now and I would say that 95% of the vehicles are not driving as per the posted 30 km/per hour sign.
So I called the public works office again and asked if a sign could be placed in the middle of The Boulevard as cars entering the traffic circle are looking up the road for Quest traffic and it seems like they don’t even see the signs.
Staff placed another sign in the middle of The Boulevard.
It’s worth mentioning that drivers also do not pay attention to the crosswalk at the intersection because they are busy watching for traffic. Now I know this is bad driving and not the district’s fault but turning a road that has an issue with speed and volume into a school zone with no enforcement is useless.
On my walk this morning with my dog, I used the lit crosswalk with the lights clearly flashing. I could see a little black sports car coming from the traffic circle when I hit the button to activate the lights.
The driver did not even attempt to slow down.
The speed was so fast that I could not get a plate written down. I screamed at the driver but there was no attempt by the driver to stop or even slow down. My heart was racing.
I have seen little children hit the button and walk out, and if that had been the case this time, there would have been a casualty. I have seen a child hit in the crosswalk, and I don’t want to see it again. On my afternoon walk, it was same crosswalk and the same story.
I got to the middle and the car coming up the road almost did not stop.
This is crazy.
Something else needs to be done and residents all agree that the lit crosswalk should be raised, not like the humps on Skyline but similar to what is in the Canadian Tire parking lot.
Cars need to slow down and we can not expect our RCMP to be here daily to enforce the speed limit so something else has to be put in place.
Maybe next time I won’t be so lucky in the cross walk, maybe next time it will be a child again.
So why not be proactive and do something now instead of reacting to a tragedy if it were to happen?
Something also needs to be done about the idling cars, and about cars blocking driveways during the school pickups.
I don’t want my street littered with signage, but something needs to be put in place cause common sense is clearly lacking with some drivers.
I have plenty of documentation of this and if you would like, I would gladly send you video of the speed I witness daily.
Randi Olson has lived on The Boulevard street in Garibaldi Highlands for 28 years.