Is it safe to go outside?
It is quite à la mode in Chelsea these days to scour neighbourhoods looking for danger. While arguably one of the safest places on earth, there is a growing movement afoot that would have one believe that hazards are lurking on every inch of roadway, at every bend and straight, on every cycling path or trail, and on every swing set, soccer field, or at every skate park.
Fear not, the Chelsea Safety Brigade is here to rescue you from the harm of everyday life. The lowering of certain speed limits, when weighed against the data, can make absolute and complete sense — at times. When the Autoroute 105 was lowered in this area from 90 km/h to 70 km/h, it made sense. When a random section of that road recently went from 70 km/h to 50 km/h on the basis of some “what could happen” proposals to council, it left some of us wondering why 60 km/h was skipped (it works on its doppelganger, the A307, on the mirror side of the river). Congratulations Safety Brigade, the A105, which was not designed for cycling (hang on before you attack, I’m pro cycling), is now a mere 10 km/h faster than Bank Street in the busiest section of the Glebe.
The latest absurdity, which defies logic, is the pending addition of a stop sign in the middle of Chemin Musie on a corner (not even at an intersection) that – aside from the demise of an unfortunate squirrel or two – has not been a hazard in any capacity.
As a parent raising three kids who’ve all climbed trees, played sports, and rode mountain bikes, fell down, got up, and seem to be surviving this hostile and rugged terrain, my stomach turns every time I hear a parent say, “Oh I’m just not sure it’s safe for kids” — roll the eye rolls please. Chelsea is already safe. Stop putting helmets on everyone. Did I mention the Glebe yet?