Survey says: Slow down

The tourists are back in town, businesses have re-opened for the summer, and the sun has even made a brief re-appearance.

And now, the often-debated topic of traffic calming has also resurfaced. In last week’s paper, a Village of Harrison advertisement asked the public to complete a survey on traffic calming measures around town.

Anyone who has spent any time in Harrison will have seen carloads of yahoos using the main thoroughfare as a drag strip. And there’s not a lot the Village can do about traffic calming on Hwy. 9. It is, after all, a highway — not regulated by the Village but the province.

But they can calm the other roads all they want. And they have. Traffic calming measures in Harrison run the gamut from speed humps and traffic circles to raised intersections or tabletops. McCombs has become less of a drag strip and more of an obstacle course, and hopefully that keeps some unnecessary traffic off the quiet backstreet.

While the traffic is worse in the summer, the speeders, yahoos and even drunk drivers aren’t all tourists, are they?

Sure, we’d like to think that locals would respect their neighbours and drive through idyllic Harrison at the posted speeds, we know that’s not happening. Residents bring their complaints to council regularly — tourist season or not. And while many changes have been made in the past few years as a result of the complaints, it’s hard to measure if there have been any changes behind the wheel.

Some say there are too many obstacles. Others say there are too few. Perhaps this survey will shed some light on what’s really happening on Harrison’s roads.

But in the end, traffic calming devices simply aren’t enough. What we need is some common sense. If people slowed down on their own accord we wouldn’t need traffic circles at all.

And we also wouldn’t need roadside memorials for children killed by reckless drivers.

-Jessica Peters, editor Agassiz Harrison Observer