Well, our Aldermen are bound and determined to spend like mad and are scrambling to keep up through tax increases and user fee increases. Parking is getting exceedingly expensive everywhere and we are getting nickled and dimed to death on home service charges.
While the city is more than happy to have cash-cow style speed-on-green cameras installed all over the city, one area of law enforcement and money generation has been ignored by city hall.
CRACK DOWN ON JAYWALKERS!
Anybody who has had the misfortune of driving downtown on weekdays knows exactly what I am ranting about. Massive congestion is caused as a flood of lenming-like pedestrians floods through a crosswalk and never stops until the light has completely changed. Instead of having a 1/2 dozen or more vehicles turn as the traffic light system is designed to allow, we see that perhaps one or two vehicles manage to make the turn at all per light.
Our council is always claiming to be “green”. Well, how much extra-idling of vehicles is being caused by jaywalkers? If everybody obeyed the signals, we would see a great reduction of the time required for a vehicle to get through downtown. That means less emissions does it not?
Instead of unenforcable anti-idling bylaws or notions of banning drivethroughs, why won’t city council work a little using laws that are already on the books?
Jaywalking is illegal and we already have bylaw officers who can write tickets for it. All that needs to be done is to have these officers stand on streetcorners and begin writing. Rest assured, tickets will be issued as fast as they can be written. How long would it take before we see a reduction in jaywalkers? Not too terribly long I say. Nobody likes paying fines. The city does the occasional one or two day crackdown on jaywalking but those initiatives are rare and advertised. We need enforcement on this at all times. Emissions would be reduced, road-rage would be reduced and more money would flow into the city’s coffers. It is win win win.
To add to that, it would be nice to see some enforcement in areas around high schools as well. While school zones are in place around elementary and junior high schools, I see the most irresponsible pedestrian behaviour being carried out by high school students. When the buzzer goes off, the streets are flooded with oblivious kids wearing their ipods or simply arrogantly blocking cars for kicks.
While the risk to their personal health does not seem to disuade high school kids from walking in the middle of streets, perhaps giving the little darlings some tickets for jaywalking to take home may motivate them to abide by the basic rules of traffic safety.
Perhaps enforcing current laws is just too simple for a city council that is too focused on overpriced bridges and closing major streets.