Highlands resident Sally Gose and her dogs Jasmine (left) and Rocket stand on Ross Durrance Road as cars speed by Tuesday afternoon. Gose started a petition, which was brought to Highlands council earlier this week, that calls on the municipality to implement traffic calming measures to reduce aggessive and speeding drivers. (Kendra Wong/News Gazette staff)

Aggressive drivers in the Highlands draws ire of residents

Neighbours calling on district, RCMP for traffic calming, enforcement

Sally Gose remembers a time when Ross Durrance Road was once a quiet, solitary road, where neighbours took leisurely walks with their dogs and kids rode their bikes.

But over the last five years, the Highlands resident and others say the road has become dangerous due to an increase in traffic, as well as aggressive drivers speeding along Millstream Lake and Ross Durrance roads.

Many in the area feel the roads have become so dangerous that they no longer feel comfortable going for a simple walk, she said.

“We moved out here for peace and quiet and beauty and this lovely, lovely little road. We’ve been robbed of it right now because of the behaviour of others and we’re hoping to reclaim that,” said Gose.

Gose has lived on Ross Durrance Road for the last 20 years.

Fed up, she took matters into her own hands and began circulating a petition calling on the municipality to work with residents to come up with possible solutions for traffic calming on the hertiage road, and for West Shore RCMP to enforce the 25 kilometre per hour speed limit.

Within 48 hours the petition garnered 72 signatures, which Gose presented to Highlands council earlier this week.

Speeding has always been a problem in the area, with drivers going anywhere from 50 to 60 km/hr.

However, Gose believes it has been exacerbated by congestion on major arteries that has caused some drivers to find other ways to get from point A to point B, including using Ross Durrance Road as a shortcut.

As a result of more traffic on the road, the interactions between pedestrians and drivers are only getting worse. In one incident, Gose was out for a walk in the winter in the snow when a truck came speeding by, lost control of his vehicle and almost hit her. She told the driver to slow down, but he swore and threatened her.

Others have had similar interactions with drivers swearing or threatening them.

One resident, who used to let their children walk to a neighbour’s house, no longer feels comfortable doing so, and instead chooses to drive.

“It’s fractured our sense of community, that our neighbourhood and sense of this place that we call home, that people don’t feel like they can walk up and down the road anymore,” Gose said.

Mayor Ken Williams has already had conversations with the West Shore RCMP regarding speeding on the road and enforcement. Work is also being done to look at all possible avenues to reduce speeds on the road.

“People should not feel that they’re in danger when they want to venture out on the road outside of their house,” he said.

“We’re doing all we can to meet with everybody who has a potential influence on this. We will leave no stone unturned in our pursuit. It’s not designed as a commuter connector. Anyone attempting it will lose time.”

Coun. Leslie Anderson said road safety continues to be a top priority for council, adding they will also look at other jurisdictions to see what traffic calming measures are in place.

Const. Alex Berube, spokesperson for the West Shore RCMP, called the petition a “great initiative” and encourages concerned citizens to contact the detachment regarding any reoccurring issues.

kendra.wong@goldstreamgazette.com

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