Lethbridge Minute: Pathway Usage, Parking Fines, and Harmonized School Zones
Lethbridge Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Lethbridge politics
This Week In Lethbridge:
- There is only one meeting at City Hall this week after a meeting of the Civic Works Standing Policy Committee, originally scheduled for Thursday, was cancelled. The cancellation notice cited a lack of agenda items.
The singular meeting, of the Audit Committee, takes place on Wednesday at 1:30 pm. No agenda is available for this meeting yet.
- The City of Lethbridge is looking for feedback on its Transportation Master Plan to help guide transportation growth in the city over the next 10 to 20 years. In this third phase of public engagement, the City wants the public to help prioritize actions. This marks the first time the City has updated the Transportation Master Plan since 2012. Residents will have until Wednesday to provide feedback on the online survey.
Last Week In Lethbridge:
The City announced a plan to explore harmonized school and playground zones as part of its Transportation Safety Plan. If approved, the idea would convert all school zones to playground zones with a 30 KM/h speed limit in effect daily from 7:30 am until 9:00 pm. Some of the reasoning provided by the City is that fixed end times are easier for motorists to remember, and that many schools have playground equipment and are used as playgrounds outside of school hours. An online survey is open for residents to provide the City with feedback on the plan.
- At their first scheduled meeting of 2023, City Council discussed an increase to parking fines. Parking ticket fees will be raised from $25 to $50, but a $15 reduction will still be available if the fine is paid within seven days. Council estimates the fine hike will generate an additional $250,000 in revenue annually and will be a meaningful deterrent for parking violations. Let’s hope Council’s fine increases aren’t a lesson in unintended consequences that ends up deterring business from downtown.
- Data revealed a decline in the usage of the City's parks and pathways from 2021. Despite an increase during the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an 18% decrease in usage in 2022 compared to 2021. However, usage has now returned to pre-pandemic levels. The City compiled data through 22 trail counters, and three vehicle counters near river valley access roads. More counters could be added in the future as the City looks to improve the accuracy of reporting.
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