Council had asked Administration to review school and playground zones signage and regulations in Sylvan Lake. File Photo.

Sylvan Lake could see changes to school and playground zones

Administration has reviewed and recommended changes for the zones to Council as directed.

Sylvan Lake Town Council is reviewing school and playground zone signage and regulations in Sylvan Lake.

At the Nov. 13 Council meeting a report to council reviewed the current zones and presented five different options for the future of the school and playground zones.

Administration reported possible changes could be made to the time period school zones would be in effect.

Time periods in school zones could potentially be changes to 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and will be in effect on school days.

Playground zones will also be adjusted to 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. with signs being adjusted to display the determined time period.

Administration also reported on the potential of replacing all non-regulatory “neon-yellow” speed-limit signs, replacing all tab-sized regulatory speed-limit signs with the full version, eliminating hybrid zones and establish school areas where appropriate.

Hybrid zones are where school zones and playground zones are combined.

Public Works estimates this will cost under $15,000.

The findings reported to Council are based on a 2015 report, where Council chose to change school zone times and add hybrid zones.

Chinook’s Edge School Division and Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools said they agree with any decision changes with the potential to improve the safety of their students.

“If they are consistent it causes less confusion for drivers,” said Shawn Russell, associate superintendent of corporate services at Chinook’s Edge School Division.

Russell added the current format of multiple time periods over the course of the day is a bit confusing and more consistency is better for drivers to understand.

Haleigh Packer, spokesperson for Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, also felt consistency was the better option for school and playground zones.

“We want to ensure motorists are doing 30 [kilometres] an hour not going above the speed limit in any shape or form because our students’ safety is our top priority,” said Packer.

Along with the potential of consistency in school zones, both school boards supported the idea of longer time periods.

“Schools are a busy place and we have not only our extra-curricular, but a lot of our schools are used by the community groups and our fields are used by the minor soccer or football associations or those type of associations, so they’re busy places beyond just a normal school day,” explained Russell, adding expanding the time period to 9:00 p.m. would put in more of a safety measure for those in after school activities.

Packer felt the same way, saying extracurricular sports run before and after school.

“People slowing down during those hours would be wonderful because students are still walking to and from to go to those extracurricular activities or games,” continued Packer.

The report was accepted as information, and Council directed administration to confir with the school boards and come back with suggestions at a later date.

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