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February 2007

January 2007

Bialik Student Traffic Committee

In order to try and resolve the longstanding traffic problems related to Bialik High School on Kildare Road, I have been trying to think outside the box. For years, parents dropping off their children at the 1,000 plus student school have been contravening existing traffic bylaws by stopping on no parking zones, double parking, making illegal u-turns and blocking driveways. Long lineups of cars are common on Kildare Road during the morning dropoff and afternoon pickup timeslots. In August Councillor Sam Goldbloom and I met with Bialk Principal Elaine Wisenthal and Vice-Principal Andrew Trager to see what could be done about the situation. The administration pledged its full cooperation and began warning parents through the school newsletter to pay closer attention to the traffic bylaws. At the same time Police Station 9 Traffic Officer Alain St. Marseille agreed to enact a zero tolerance policy in terms of infractions. As a result, patrol cars have been seen in the area more common and tickets issued. I took things a step further recently when I went to Bialik to meet with the Grade 9 math class of Amal Sadka. These students are actually studying Grade 9 and 10 math in the same year. One of their focuses is statistics. It was with this in mind that Ms. Wisenthal and Mr. Trager felt they would make a good match when I suggested that some kind of student traffic committee be established. I briefed the enthusiastic class of 21 students about the present-day traffic problems. Their first task will be to conduct an inventory of existing traffic signs and regulations. They will then be divided into groups and assigned specific tasks. Forms will be developed and during the winter data will be compiled. A field trip to City Hall will be arranged for a comprehensive briefing by the traffic committee and the traffic engineer. I am really excited about this initiative. Who better to give us a clear perspective on the true traffic situation than the students? I hope the data they compile will send a message to those who are not abiding by the traffic regulations.” Our new Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (VCOP) have already got the ball rolling by observing the area. They gave us some very valuable data to work with. It will serve as a template for the Bialik students.” The fact the students are only in Grade 9 will allow them to grow in this area. This not just a one shot deal. I hope we can keep this going in the years to come and bring on more students.