“Zone” indeed. The last time I heard this phrase, with any real meaning, was in reference to a young man who was staring aimlessly into space. “Are you zoning?” my friend asked of him.
So now, having set the context, I ask of our mayor and councillors, “Are you zoning?” Are you justifying the setting up of yet another taxpayer-funded consultation gang?
Why on earth would we commission yet another gang to determine how our speed zones should be managed?
Is it not plain to anyone who actually observes our traffic in Oak Bay that speed zones have almost nothing to do with the speeds at which most drivers travel?
“Safety,” for the majority of drivers, does not refer to pedestrians or other cars, but rather to whether or not there is a police cruiser around to deter them.
One has only to sit outside Margaret Jenkins school for 15 minutes before and after the school bell to see that it is the rare driver who actually comes to a full stop at the four-way (I have, more than once, seen children utterly ignored and cut off as they prepare to cross), or, once the nuisance cross walk guard is gone (about 3:10) to drive past the school at any speed they wish.
Windsor Road serves as another particularly good example – well known to the police – as a freeway. Island Road – a 30 km/h zone – where we and five of our grandchildren live, with no sidewalks, has at least three or four regular speedsters – all women, by the way – who consistently ignore our requests that they slow down, even when the kids are cycling or playing on the street.
The truth is that, once behind the wheel, we become an integral part of the machine – an extension of it, and are subject to its will, and none of our own.
I have often driven in Italian cities from the north to Sicily, Rome included, and I have rarely seen a culture of drivers as inconsiderate and incautious as right here in “staid” Oak Bay. Oddly enough, and against cultural belief, the majority of those ignorant drivers are not the much-maligned youth, but – wait for it – middle-aged and senior women.
So let’s stop with these expensive charades, these so-called ‘studies’ or make the whole municipality 35km, no exceptions.
That doesn’t need an expert: just some cops on the corners to police it, and to start ensuring that those who don’t think they need to stop at the signs, pay a hefty price.