Yarrow resident Kathleen Morrow has witnessed tremendous growth over the years from her vantage point on the westernmost edge of Chilliwack.
The result is that speeding along Yarrow Central Road, especially in peak summer times, is out of control, she said.
“We love Yarrow. This is where we’ve lived for 25 years and it’s our home,” Morrow told The Progress. “The growth in Garrison and Vedder and Promontory and Majuba Hill has meant so much more traffic and speeding. It’s terrible.”
Everyone complains about the speeders, but no one does anything, she said.
“Normally I’m very shy.”
But this made her angry, so she’s taking her husband’s advice, and stepping out of her comfort zone to do something about it.
Morrow launched a petition, online at gopetition.com and on paper, obtaining more than 300 signatures so far to reduce speed on Yarrow Central Road, from Community Street to Eckert Street, to 30 km/hr, down from 50 km/hr.
Most motorists go at least 60 km/hr to 80 km/hr, she said, and most are in such a rush they don’t know what the speed limit is.
“The traffic gets so bad in summer that drivers don’t even stop at the three-way stop,” she said.
Coming off one of the side streets from home, the Morrows sometimes have to turn right, stop traffic and then turn around.
“Otherwise we can’t get out of town,” she said.
Morrow said busloads of kids are often transported to the Cultus Lake Water Park during the peak season.
“People actually pass these buses,” she said. “I said, ‘enough is enough’ when I saw that.”
She and her husband like to go for bike rides, and sometimes they wave their arms to try to slow down the speeders.
“I try to tell them there are kids along the route here. Their response is to give me the royal salute. They go by so fast, someone is going to get killed.”
The signatures on her petition are starting to grow.
“I’m so glad I have the support of the community.”
Several merchants in the area agreed to post the petition: Rivers Restaurant, Petro-Canada, Fas Gas Plus, Inspired Gifts, Allenby’s Farm, Home Hardware and Dancin Pizza
Michelle Mattiusi, who lives nearby on Boundary Road, said speed should be lowered along the park area of Yarrow Central, and No. 3 Road.
Summer is the worst, she said, but it’s been a problem for a long time.
Mattiusi said she owns horses and when they’re on the road with vehicles zooming by, they can spook easily.
“I have my property and a ditch that separate me from my field, so I have to walk my horses across the street to the pasture.”
Drivers just fly by oblivious to the danger.
“My husband has been hit. The horses get stressed and freak out. My horse was almost hit a week ago.”
Sometimes she has to wait 20 minutes to cross the road.
“I poke my head out and count them. If there are no cars coming, I run like my butt is on fire, with cars speeding behind me.”
People don’t realize with horses, its a 1200-lb animal that will take flight. It’s common courtesy to move over and slow down when you see one on the road.
“If not they’re risking the animal and the person. Horses think a plastic bag will eat them. Sometimes with fear they will run overtop of you.”
Mattiusi said she contacted City of Chilliwack officials, who told her essentially they’re working on it.
Speeding is bad along No. 3 Road as well.
“People treat sections of it like a speedway,” she said.
Traffic cops from Abbotsford came out at her request, and had a speed tracking board on Boundary Road.
“He later contacted me to say he couldn’t keep up with all the speeders. Everyone speeds past Speed Watch boards because there are no repercussions.”