News / Calgary

Calgary moves forward on new school-zone safety methods, but not rumble strips

Calgary will press ahead with new methods for making drivers more aware of school and playground zones, but rumble strips will not be among them.

The city’s transportation committee voted Wednesday in favour of a plan to introduce eight new ways of getting drivers’ attention in the low-speed zones on a trial basis.

But the use of rumble strips – an idea first floated by Ald. Jim Stevenson, whose motion at city council last year prompted the plan – is off the table.

Commonly used on highways, the strips are too noisy within city limits and often end up ineffective in the winter when they get packed with snow, according to city staff.

City engineer Greg Iwaskow said the city looked at the potential for smaller rumble strips, but found those ineffective too, and Stevenson was OK with dropping the idea.

“They reduced the noise but they reduced the effectiveness of them, too,” Stevenson said of the potential for smaller strips.

Instead, the city will try using a variety of other devices, including reflective tape on school/playground zone sign poles, larger signs, more signs within a zone, “Zone Ahead” signs, road marking stencils, and traffic cones with reflective, spinning, wind-driven tops.

Ald. Gord Lowe questioned whether the city needed to take a deeper look at the problem of road safety in areas that children frequent and “go back to ground zero” in designing its policies.

“We seem to be dealing with the symptoms of the issue here rather than dealing with the problem overall,” he said. “It seems to me we’ve identified a series of Band-Aids here.”

Aldermen ultimately supported the plan, however, which will next go to a full meeting of council for approval.

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