St. Adolphe resident Dee Dee Budgell represents a contingent of Tourond Creek residents who are appealing to Ritchot’s council for quick action on reducing speed limits in their neighbourhood.
At a September 7 public meeting, Budgell made an in-person presentation to council, requesting that posted speed limits in the development be reduced from 50 kilometres per hour to 35 kilometres per hour.
The request follows council’s recent approval of a subdivision application submitted by Tourond Creek developers, SALCO. That approval gave the green light to begin phase two of residential development.
Budgell and others who attended the August 17 meeting had aired their concerns before council and SALCO consultant Brandon Powell. Of high concern to all was the lack of a dedicated access and egress point for construction traffic.
Traffic congestion and speeds of 50 kilometres per hour or higher, they said, pose a grave risk to children playing on or near access streets leading to areas of the development.
Budgell’s return appearance at the September 7 public meeting was reinforced by a petition signed by 64 residents of Tourond Creek, all in favour of the proposed speed reduction.
“Children do not have a park to play in, as the park has yet to be developed,” Budgell told council. “So that brings us to the safety issue. The construction vehicles are going way too fast for the development.”
Budgell pointed out that the petition made its rounds throughout the development over the course of the September long weekend, suggesting that more may have signed had they not been out of town.
Out of the many households she visited, Budgell says she spoke to only two residents who were not in favour of the speed reduction. One, she says, was a law enforcement officer and the other had some involvement with infrastructure.
Deputy mayor Shane Pelletier, filling in for Mayor Chris Ewen, inquired as to what percentage of the 64 signatures represented different households in the community. Budgell estimated it to be about 65 percent.
“We would like to see [the speed reduction happen] as quickly as possible,” she told council. “I know that’s a big ask, but we’re really concerned with the safety [of our children].”
Ritchot CAO Mitch Duval informed Budgell that council would address her concerns at their next council meeting, dated September 14. At that point, he said, should council wish to move forward on it, a resolution would be made for the creation of a new bylaw.
This resolution would undergo first, second, and third reading, with an opportunity for council to accept or deny it at that time.
All in all, Duval told Budgell, the process in its entirety would take at least until mid-October. The upcoming municipal election, he added, could prolong the process further.
Brenda Sawatzky, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Niverville Citizen