This is a tale about the good, the bad and the ugly of bylaw and summer construction.
So, I might as well do them in order and start with the the good.
The officer who stood outside from spring, through summer and now into fall, morning noon and night, for an hour at a time, waving traffic through, deserves a thumbs up, a round of applause and a medal from the mayor and city council. It was his dedication to his duty and efforts that kept traffic moving at all in the city.
Think about this. Three times a day for more than an hour each time, he stood there and waved the traffic through. If you don’t think that is tough, then go outside and try waving your arms for an hour. It might be fun for the first few minutes, but I bet at the halfway mark, your arms are going to get tired. At the end of an hour, they would be getting downright painful. That is a lot tougher of a job tan it looks and to do it three times a day and five days a week, that is dedication.
Now for the bad. I would like to know what bonehead at city hall thought that this was an appropriate place to put a set of temporary stop signs for the other 21 hours of the day. A yield sign would have been more then sufficient. The side road to the curling club was seldom used and every time I drove through the area I wondered why we all had to play stop-and-go to get through. Or why a bylaw officer spent three hours a day there so people could ignore the stop signs. Talk about overkill.
This brings me to the ugly. Several times when I did drive through the area, I saw other bylaw officers hiding in wait to give out tickets to those who failed to make a complete stop or who went a little faster then the posted 30-kilometre construction zone. Which seemed to be a lot longer then necessary. I would really like to know how many tickets were given out because I started to think this was just a clever ticket trap.
Personally, I never got one because I am used to bylaw’s devious ways, but a lot of unsuspecting motorists did. I had to go out to the airport late one night and there were very few vehicles on the road. Certainly no one was working on the road construction. But sure enough, there was a bylaw officer hidden in the Mac’s lot handing out tickets. I decided to drive home using the other road and surprise, surprise, there was a bylaw office there as well, handing out tickets by YK Motors to people not slowing down enough.
Welcome to Yellowknife, where late at night bylaw is out to get you and fill their quota of tickets for the week. They were positioned to get you no mater which route you took. Was this pure coincidence or a planned ploy on their part?
Every city likes to use the argument they have traffic laws and enforce them to make things safer for everyone. It is a good argument because there is some truth to it.
We don’t want chaos and anarchy on the roads.
On the other hand, there are numerous examples where municipalities set things up so people are, in a way, tricked or forced into breaking the rules and the traffic fines become a cash cow. A motorist in Florida was able to prove that the time given a yellow light was set so short by the city it was impossible for a motorist to get through it and not get a ticket for running a red light.
One way to solve these problems would be if periodically, bylaw had to produce a map showing where all their tickets were issued and why. Then city council could decide if the tickets were legitimate or whether the signage or the length of lights need to be changed. Sometimes, cities have to be reminded the police and bylaw officers are there to serve the people and keep them safe not to view them as a revenue source.
So, there you have it, the good the bad and the ugly.
Lets all hope the road work is done before the snow comes.