Maybe the needs of 1,500 turtles will be taken more seriously than those of 25,000 student and staff residents when deciding whether to make Cootes Drive safer.
By Nicholas Kevlahan
Published September 03, 2014
According to a CBC Hamilton article, the Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) are asking the City of Hamilton to reduce the speed limit on Cootes Drive to protect turtles crossing the street from being crushed.
There are four rare turtle species living around Cootes Paradise, and they're getting crushed by passing cars, said Tys Theysmeyer, RBG's head of natural lands.
He wants the city to reduce the speed limit from 80 to 60 kilometres per hour, erect more fencing and improve the Dundas wastewater plant, among other efforts.
The City wouldn't reduce the speed limit to protect vulnerable humans trying to cross Cootes Drive. In fact, they caved in and increased the speed limit again near McMaster University after motorists simply ignored the lower speed limit.
But maybe the needs of 1,500 turtles - like the needs of developers - will be taken more seriously than those of 25,000 student and staff residents when deciding whether to make our streets safer.
A related article in today's Spectator quotes Theysmeyer:
While a speed limit reduction is only part of the solution, "we think it would make a significant difference," Theysmeyer said after the meeting. "Slowing down at least gives you (the motorist) a chance to realize you're about to squash a [human]."
I replaced "turtle" with "human" to demonstrate how ridiculous this situation is. After all, slowing automobile speeds reduces the number and severity of injuries to humans as well as to turtles.
At least Council is considering this request to lower the speed limit to save turtles, unlike the continuous requests over four decades by lower city neighbourhood associations to lower the speed limit to save humans.
Maybe the Durand Neighbourhood Association should get into the business of raising turtles and letting them loose in the neighbourhood.
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