Residents in Evanston push for playground zone

Click to play video 'Parents say close call proof playground zone needed in Evanston' Parents say close call proof playground zone needed in Evanston
WATCH ABOVE: Parents in the northwest community of Evanston say dangerous driving is putting their children at risk. As Jenna Freeman reports, they want speed restrictions on a busy stretch and a near miss is all the proof they need – Jun 8, 2017

A little girl was hit while riding her bike along Evanston Way on Sunday evening, renewing concerns of parents that live in the area.

For months, Sarah Connor and her husband have been putting out signs reminding drivers to slow down.

Connor, who asked the city to designate the area a playground zone, said that the speed limit needs to be restricted

“With two different parks and the children going back and forth to the park… there’s no crosswalks or aiding in crossing the road and 50 [km/h] is just way too fast to be aware of kids,” she said.
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Evanston Way is located beside a large green space with several soccer fields and a baseball diamond, but without a city-approved playground on site, it doesn’t fit criteria to add the speed restrictions.

Ward 2 Councillor Joe Magliocca said he is going to administration to have those criteria re-examined.

He believes that even if there isn’t a playground on site, the area is frequently used by children, so it should be designated a playground zone.

“If it’s booked throughout the year or a couple of times a year… hopefully we can do something if I got the support of my colleagues,” Magliocca said.

Magliocca urged drivers in the area to slow down when approaching the field and added that even if restrictions aren’t introduced, driver behavior has to change.

“Use caution on the road and you see a green space, you’re coming down a hill, and you’re not going to do 50 or 55.”

Angie Herman regularly walks in the neighborhood with her two small children.

She said she’s noticed people coming down Evanston Way sometimes at upwards of 60 or 70 km/h.

“My daughter’s only two years old and I’m trying to teach her [to] look both ways,” said Herman. “Even if we’re going up the driveway or something because I’m just so scared something is going to happen.”
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In the fall, the city looked into restricting speed limits throughout the city to 30 or 40 km/h.

City administrators decided to get more public feedback and added additional safety measures for pedestrians.

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