Blackfalds combining playground zones near Abbey Centre

The two 30 km/h playground zones on Womacks Rd. in Blackfalds will be amalgamated with the removal of end zone signs, such as this one pictured at the corner of Womacks Rd. and Leung Rd. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

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There’ll be a little less confusion for drivers – and a bit more safety for pedestrians – near the Abbey Centre and All Star Park when it comes to speed limits.

Blackfalds town council approved the amalgamation of two separate 30km/h playground zones along Womacks Rd. during their regular meeting on Tuesday evening, including the zone in front of the new bike and skate parks between Vista Trail and Leung Rd., and further east closer near the Blackfalds Community Centre at Landsdowne Ave.

The issue was originally brought before council on July 11, 2017, but at the time, council chose to leave the speed zones separately and monitor the change. After a year of monitoring, administration felt it would still be in the best interest of the community to have the two zones combined.

“Overall, the four-way stop is working well and the speed reduction zones are working well, too, but what we’re proposing is removing the 30 km/h end zone in the middle,” said Director of Infrastructure and Property Services Preston Weran. “Signage would still stay the same…it would just be one congruent zone.”

The proposal passed unanimously.

Coun. Will Taylor said he appreciated the change, but inquired about the addition of a digital sign to make drivers aware of their own speed.

Coun. Rebecca Stendie, who sits on the policing committee, said talks to do so were already in the works.

“Speeding has been a bit of an issue. It’s something our enforcement officers have noted, so I’m glad this is changing,” she said. “We have talked about putting a sign up there once we could get the change approved.”

Other councillors also expressed their support for the change, but suggested moving some of the speed zone signs to increase visibility, and or painting a 30 km/h zone on the street to increase awareness of the change.

Changes to the zone are expected to take effect immediately, once the 30 km/h end zone signs are taken down.

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