Spring is here and the first injured deer has been spotted.
Deer are often crossing major roads within Bridgwater Forest and the surrounding region. Most area residents are aware of the deer and the crossings and drive accordingly but it can be difficult to stop in time and non-residents visiting the area often don’t have prior knowledge to avoid the deer.
Three known deer-crossing sites have been identified in the area, including Bridgeland Drive South, the Kenaston Boulevard extension and Cadboro Road. It has been requested that signage be put up to warn drivers.
Lori Garet, a traffic studies engineer with the City of Winnipeg, responded to the request for signage in an email:
"Although the section of Kenaston south of Bishop Grandin does not meet any of the other criteria we use to determine the warrant for deer crossing signs and Manitoba Public Insurance reports that since the opening of Kenaston Boulevard in late October 2012, through to January 2013, there have been no reported collisions with deer on that roadway, upon further investigation we have identified a location that could be considered as a well-defined deer trail.
"The Public Works Department has created the guidelines for installing deer crossing signs based on studies and past experience.
"Studies have shown that drivers rarely reduce their speed in response to the sign, and that overuse of deer crossing signs result in drivers simply ignoring them. Because deer crossings are a random intermittent event unlike other sign hazards such as curves or lane drops, over time deer crossing signs become part of the background."
Garet further explained the City’s position:
"The City has received a number of 311 requests for Deer Crossing signage along Kenaston Boulevard and Bishop Grandin Boulevard where signs already exist. Since drivers are so used to them being there they appear not to see them anymore.
Garet went on to say it is believed deer activity in the area will lessen as development continues.
"We expect that as the residential area is built up the deer will move to other locations causing the installation of signs to be unnecessary.
"We also feel that since this is a new development, there is a high probability that as development continues, movement of deer and penetration into the area will change. As the area develops we can determine if the signs are truly warranted."
It would be unfortunate if anyone or anything was seriously injured in a deer/vehicle accident when prevention is possible.
Aside from being aware while driving, it appears that it will take an accident or two to have signage posted in the area.
Please report all vehicle/wildlife accidents by phoning 311, or visit the City of Winnipeg website at www.winnipeg.ca
Kristi Anaka is a community correspondent for Waverley West. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.