Melfort citizens concerned about heavy truck route

·2 min read

While the city council recommending no change for heavy truck routes in Melfort, residents are making their feelings known about the safety of Broadway Avenue South.

Members of the council discussed the issue at the Dec. 14 council meeting with Gerald Gilmore, the Works and Utilities director.

Broadway Avenue South property owners, parents of Maude Burke Elementary School, others that live on the south side don’t feel safe, especially during harvest time, said Debbie Ferguson, who presented to council on behalf of concerned citizens during the Jan. 11 council meeting.

Grain haulers are the majority of semi traffic, she said, and citizens have noticed the amount of traffic that passes through the neighbourhood, including a school zone. When Ferguson’s children were in Maude Burke Elementary School, she and other parents saw no problem in letting their children walk to school. Since 2015, she feared for her grandchild as they were learning to ride bikes on the sidewalks in front of her house on Broadway Avenue South.

Gilmore noted at the Dec. 14 council meeting that members of contact made with representatives from Maude Burke Elementary School. If members of the school community discussed this issue with the city, parents were missing from this conversation, wrote Lorne Larson in a statement to the council.

Eliminating this road as a shortcut through the city will not cause many hardships for semi-drivers, Ferguson said.

“We fail to see any negative effects on the City of Melfort and the citizens of Melfort by restricting the weight on Broadway Avenue South. This is a shortcut. We would not be standing in front of you voicing our concerns if driving down Broadway Avenue South was the only way to access Highway 41.”

The Southside Re-Life Facebook group has 122 members that “want to positively contribute to ideas and action to make the south side of Melfort a great place to live and enjoy.” The group was created to address concerns from citizens, Ferguson said, this is the first time that concerned citizens have spoken on this issue to the city council.

Ferguson also noted that the many improvements made to the south side of Melfort are not going unnoticed by residents.

The issue of Broadway Avenue South heavy truck route will be brought back to the Works and Utilities Committee for consideration.

Becky Zimmer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Battlefords Regional News-Optimist