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City updates school and playground zones after passing traffic bylaw

Drivers will now have to slow down to 30 kilometres per hour for 365 days of the year around certain schools in the city. On Monday, city council passed new traffic rules that will see school and playground zones changed.

“Every bylaw is not perfect,” says Mayor Gerald Aalbers. “We’ve tried to accommodate safety that was our number one concern. Be it playgrounds, be it unhitched trailers all the things that were discussed in that traffic bylaw, it’s quite encompassing.”

School zones are now in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on school days and playground zones have changed to be in effect from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Playground zones are also in effect for 365 days for any school that is kindergarten to nine and has a playground.

Holy Rosary High School and the Lloydminster Comprehensive High School will be exempt from the 365-day rule. The bylaw is currently in effect, however, Aalbers says there will be an educational period.

“I ask people to be aware, we’ll be working with our communications department sending out news releases and things saying ‘the signs are up’ or ‘they’re starting to go up please be aware.'”

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Approximately 150 signs will be changed at $50 each. Aalbers says there is no timeline for when residents will see the new signs up.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure that when you drive you’ll see a sign and know it’s a playground zone and this is the time it is in effect. It’s cut and dry. People will hopefully take that moment to slow down and follow the signs.”

Councillor Aaron Buckingham was the only one to oppose the traffic bylaw because of the 365 change for school zones.

“A lot of the concerns and comments that were brought to me were those playgrounds are all six foot fenced all the way around so do we really need to have them as playground zones at all. It’s different than say an Anniversary Park or something like that that’s a city park that isn’t fenced along the roadway where those schools do have fences around there.”

Buckingham says at the end of the day it does increase safety and that’s a good thing.

Also in the bylaw, unhitched trailers will be allowed to stay on city streets for up to 48 hours before being removed.

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