The intersection at Moilliet Street and Despard Avenue where a 12-year-old boy was struck by an oncoming vehicle early November while crossing at a marked crosswalk. (Mandy Moraes photo)

City staff members, school district officials to discuss high-traffic Parksville intersection

Young boy suffered broken leg after being hit in Despard/Moilliet crossing

  • Jan. 22, 2021 12:00 a.m.

Parksville city staff members have arranged to meet with School District 69 (Qualicum) superintendent, Dr. Keven Elder, to discuss the ongoing safety concerns at a high-traffic intersection in Parksville.

In November, a Springwood Elementary School student was struck at the Despard Avenue/Moilliet Street intersection and suffered a broken leg. As a result of the incident, SD69 has since stationed two school board crossing guards at the intersection. The Springwood Elementary School Parent Advisory Council also wrote a letter to the city outlining their concerns regarding student safety.

Council voted unanimously in favour of meeting with SD69 for general discussions during their last meeting on Monday, Jan. 18

Mayor Ed Mayne asked the chief administrative officer to arrange the meeting.

During Monday’s meeting, council also moved to receive a letter penned by SD69 board chair, Eve Flynn.

READ MORE: School District 69 seeks help from City of Parksville dealing with ‘horror show’ intersection

In her letter, Flynn said “I know that council is well aware, as is the board, of the serious concerns that have been expressed to the city by many citizens, including parents of Springwood Elementary School and members of our senior staff, about what we view as serious traffic safety concerns at the intersection of Despard Avenue and Moilliet Street in Parksville.”

Flynn said that she and the school board believe the intersection has seen a sharp increase in traffic and drastic decrease in safety because of the major developments in the neighbourhood, which is “compounded by the ever-changing traffic patterns as drivers maneuver around cones and diversions.”

She requests that the city “take responsibility for the cost of providing crossing guards at Despard and Moilliet until all construction is complete on the developments adjoining that intersection; and that the city have in place, prior to completion of said developments, a long-range plan for pedestrian safety at both Despard and Moilliet, and Despard and the Alberni Highway.”

After council moved to receive Flynn’s letter, Coun. Adam Fras said “it was great to see letters come forward from the school board,” and that since the school board is asking for co-operation, he was the first to suggest scheduling a meeting between the two entities.

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