This week, Kimberley City Council voted six to one to designate the Skate Park as a playground, with the appropriate signage warning drivers that it is a playground zone.
Although a report from staff indicated that 50 km/hour was an adequate speed and the current measures in place were sufficient, Council felt differently.
In the staff report, Kimberley RCMP Detachment Commander Sgt. Chris Newel had provided some input. He said that Kimberley RCMP can report that there has not been a significant number of collisions on Rotary Drive to warrant a review of the speed limit. Newel says one of the primary measures of road safety is the number of collisions in an area. Newel also said that while the detachment receives driving complaints regularly, there have been very few, if any, complaints of speed on Rotary Drive between Archibald Street and Knighton Road.
He also noted that Rotary Drive already has a playground and school zone several blocks from the skate park. Another zone, he said would create a patch-work of zones, affecting traffic flow and creating issues with respect to enforcement.
He further noted that access to the skate park was generally from Marsden Street, and there was a marked cross walk with signs on Rotary to facilitate pedestrian access.
“The issue was never really about actual speeding in the area, but whether or not it was a playground,” said Mayor Don McCormick. “Signage that warns of a playground zone alerts drivers in a way that speed signs do not. The skateboard park typically has kids aged 8 to 12 or 14, similar to the other school and playground areas along Rotary Drive.”
There was concern that much of Rotary would now be under a playground zone, unreasonably slowing traffic.
A playground is a playground, McCormick says, and those wishing or needing to get to Marysville or the transfer station quicker have the option to use Warren Avenue.
“Rotary Drive has indeed become a popular playground area,” he said.