What Makes Us Feel Safe?

The dictionary defines safety as “the condition of being protected from or unlikely to cause danger, risk, or injury” or “something designed to prevent injury or damage.”

Whose responsibility is it anyways?

As a parent I want to keep my children safe. I put them in car seats, bicycle and hockey helmets, slather them in sunscreen, and teach them how to cross a street. Are they really safe? Well, I have done everything I can to protect them or prevent harm to them.

As a municipality we try to design our city to keep people safe or prevent them from harm. It’s how we design our streets, sidewalks, and crosswalks, and why we put in traffic lights. Schools zones and additional safety features have been added around schools to keep the most vulnerable safe. Did you know that certain traffic lights’ pedestrian crossing times have been adjusted to keep seniors safe, as they need more time to cross?

I’ve received many inquiries from concerned citizens about safety, such as railroad crossings needing lights and arms, left turning lights, and the need for crosswalk lights. Lived experience is valuable and alerts us to areas of concern. The municipality is also looking at all sorts of data, like collision rates, to help us improve our infrastructure to keep citizens safe.

Safety is also at the heart of how we need to design our transit system. I have heard from many that they don’t feel safe at night at bus stops or on the LRT. We need to fix that. The new Transit Strategy is our opportunity to redesign and improve our delivery of public transportation. One of the principals is safety. I think it is extremely important that the municipality designs the system and infrastructure such as lighting, bus stops, and security features to ensure everyone feels safe, no matter what time of day they are using public transportation.

Safety is at the core of what a municipality does, from our fire and police services, to keeping our streets plowed in wintertime, to our transportation system. We are all working together to keep our citizens safe.

As a councillor, I will push to ensure that safety isn’t just our perception, but rather our reality on public transportation, on our streets and in our city.

Safety is everyone’s responsibility, and we all need to take make the choice to wear our seatbelts, use crosswalks, and obey traffic signs. If we do, then we are doing our best to keep safe. For those who are responsible for others, we need to create the conditions to protect those in our care. It will take all us working together!