Crossfield’s first flashing crosswalk signs delayed
Monday, Aug 22, 2016 06:00 am
Crossfield’s first flashing crosswalk signs will miss the target installation date for the start of school following a rejection and appeal process with Alberta Transportation.
Chief Administrative Officer Ken Bosman told council during the Aug. 16 meeting the Province rejected the initial proposal, arguing the signs would be so visible it could make other crosswalks in the community less effective.
“Which didn’t entirely make a lot of sense to me,” he said.
The proposal was sent to Alberta Transportation following the June 21 council meeting.
At the time, Mayor Nathan Anderson requested the signs be expedited to the 2016 construction year due to safety concerns surrounding Limit Avenue, especially in the mornings when the sun is at its brightest and children are crossing the street for school.
On Aug. 17, Bosman said Alberta Transportation finally accepted the Town’s appeal and approved the installation.
With a six-week wait period to receive the signs, he said the hope of having them installed on Strathcona Street, Ross Street and Harrison Street – which turns into Murdoch Street when crossing Limit – by the start of school is no longer a reality.
“We’re disappointed they won’t be in for back to school,” he said. “(But) we’re obviously extremely happy they should be in by Halloween.”
Council agreed it needs the public’s input on a proposed Video Surveillance Cameras in Public Areas policy before passing it.
With the document available online at crossfieldalberta.com, Anderson said it was crucial to hold both an open house and public hearing to ensure residents are given the opportunity to be heard.
“I don’t want to pass anything like this before we go to the public with it,” he said. “…I think the public, by and large, will probably see that this is a good thing because it creates a level of safety without contriving privacy. (But) we need to ensure that’s what people think before we start putting cameras up.”
Bosman said surveillance cameras bring forward legitimate privacy concerns, but the policy adopted what Alberta’s privacy commissioner recommends in terms of protecting the privacy of individuals.
According to Bosman, the policy creates the maximum amount of privacy by minimizing where the cameras can be placed and the amount of data that can be shared.
“This is not retroactively looking for crimes (or the) wholesale collection of data,” Bosman said. “Within the context of protecting civil liberties and minimizing the intrusion into people’s lives, this is about as far as we can go.”
Though a specific date and time for the open house was not finalized before press time, Bosman said it would be held between the first and second council meetings in September.
The public hearing is scheduled for either 6 or 6:30 p.m. Sept. 20 prior to the regularly scheduled council meeting at 7 p.m.
Body and dash camera policy
Council passed a policy governing the body and dash cameras already being used by the Town’s peace officers.
According to Bosman, considering the upcoming proposed video surveillance policy, it “made sense” to have a policy in place for body and dash cameras.
“This is spiritually consistent with what we’ve proposed for the video cameras,” he said.
According to Bosman, equipping a peace officer with body and dash cameras increases the officer’s safety and adds openness and transparency to the community.
If a resident had concerns with an interaction with a peace officer, Bosman said there is benefit to having video of the interaction.
“It’s nice to know what’s actually there,” Bosman said. “There’s no he said, she said.”