Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Inkster School parents not happy

Want lower speed to apply to street in front of entrance

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Nola Hunstad, with her three children, Alex, Nick and Ethan, (from left), isn't happy a proposed city bylaw reducing speed limits near schools doesn't include major streets such as Inkster Boulevard, which runs past her kids' school.

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Nola Hunstad, with her three children, Alex, Nick and Ethan, (from left), isn't happy a proposed city bylaw reducing speed limits near schools doesn't include major streets such as Inkster Boulevard, which runs past her kids' school. Photo Store

Parents of children who go to Inkster School are questioning why the city is going to reduce the speed of motorists on side streets adjacent to the school but not on Inkster Boulevard itself.

A bylaw being presented to councillors on the public works committee next week says motorists will have to slow to 30 km/h when driving past Inkster School on Lansdowne Avenue and Parr Street, but not while driving on Inkster Boulevard, where the school's main entrance is located.

That's also the street all parents interviewed said is the biggest problem with speeding motorists.

Nola Hunstad, whose three sons -- Ethan, 6, Nick, 8, and Alex, 9 -- go to the school, said one of her own kids was struck by a vehicle while she also has seen close calls with motorists and children several times.

"I've seen kids almost get hit five times this year," Hunstad said Friday outside the school.

"My oldest got hit as we tried to walk through the light. (The driver) just kept going and the car nicked the tire of his bike. He was OK, but I just screamed at (the driver)."

A few weeks ago, Hunstad said, she had to grab her middle child's shirt to pull him back from the street when a motorist barrelled along Inkster without stopping.

"I don't let them walk home by themselves because it is dangerous," she said.

Walking her five-year-old daughter, Chloe, to kindergarten at the school, Einalice Uminge said reducing the speed on Inkster in front of the school "would be more safe for these kids."

"We don't use the doors on the other side of the school -- they're locked," she said.

Paula Bergman, with her five-year-old daughter Kali, said councillors should examine the streets on which speeds would be reduced.

"People who go down Lansdowne don't drive too fast, because it is so narrow with the parked cars, but Inkster is terrible," Bergman said.

"People drive much too fast. I think they should take another look because this is all about kids' safety."

Pulling her two-year-old daughter, Jaylynn, in a wagon while walking with her three-year-old son, Ethan, Cheyenne Tizya said she was surprised councillors aren't reducing the speed on Inkster.

"This is a busy street, and it's the entrance of the school," Tizya said. "I don't know why they're not doing this street."

Winnipeg School Division trustee Rita Hildahl said the school board supports the city's move to create reduced speed limits in school zones.

"It will help public safety of children," she said.

But Hildahl, speaking personally, said she was surprised a street as busy as Inkster is not being included. "This is a start, but it sounds like more should be done. Personally, I would like to see all schools included. We need to keep our children safe."

kevin.rollason@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 31, 2014 B1

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