Michelle Anderson used to do it as a teenager.
The mother of two has seen plenty of pedal-heavy drivers flogging by the soccer pitch and playground near her home just off Diamond Drive SE and thinks anything the city can do to slow down motorists would be a good thing.
“I just think people don’t recognize there’s a playground right there, they don’t pay attention to stuff like that and neither did I until I had children of my own,” she said.
In an effort to put Calgary in line with new standards developed by the Transportation Association of Canada, city council is in the midst of a pilot project in areas like Diamond Drive to curb speeding and encourage more responsible driver behaviour, said Calgary roads director Mac Logan.
Three of the 16 pilot locations are already in operation, including the Diamond Drive and Diamond Terrace SE location, he said.
A new signage standard in areas not previously affected by speed reduction signs — like baseball and soccer fields — will be in place, and at the same time, the project will remove speed limitations by empty playgrounds, an act which is hoped to create more efficient use of signage.
“No question, safety is a critical concern,” Logan said, pointing out signage in areas around schools that have been closed are being ignored by motorists who don’t regularly see kids playing in an area while children still playing in those areas have developed a false sense of safety because the signs are still there.
“We’re trying to find that balance.”
But Ald. Ray Jones, whose Ward 5 would be home to two of the pilot project zones, said he’s adamantly opposed to the project and he doesn’t think council should even be considering such a move.
“The argument is that this is a way to move traffic in a more efficient manner but for me, the safety of children is of utmost importance,” said Jones who would like to see speed limits of 30-40 kilometres an hour in all city residential zones. “This just doesn’t make any sense to me.”
Repeated calls to the Calgary Police Traffic Unit for comment went unreturned.