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Schools closing in Moose Jaw to get new speed zone signs anyway

City hall will start overhauling 20 school zones this summer with sign changes complete by September. 
school zone file
File photo

MOOSEJAW — City hall plans to install 120 new speed-related signs in school zones by September, including near the four buildings that are slated for closure once the joint-use venue opens in 2025. 

City hall will start overhauling the 20 school zones this summer by adding or improving pedestrian ramps, updating signs to reflect national standards and reducing speeds. City crews should complete sign changes by September. 

The speeds in those zones are currently 40 kilometres per hour from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. but will likely change to 30 km/h from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week once council approves a new bylaw. 

These school- and playground-related sign changes are expected to cost $500,000 in total. 

Overall, the city intends to order and install 650 signs. If council doesn’t change the speed limits, then the new school- and playground-zone signs will still be upgraded for better reflectivity and newness. 

During the recent May regular meeting, council asked city administration whether it planned to update the signs near Westmount, Empire, St. Mary and Sacred Heart even though they will close once the joint-use school in the Westheath subdivision opens next year.

That concern has been a topic of discussion among engineering staff, while they decided that it would be appropriate to include those locations for upgrade once the project commences, said Bevan Harlton, director of operations.

One reason is that those schools will still be open in September 2024, while another is that those areas usually contain a playground or park space, so the city would accommodate that, he continued. Also, once those four schools close, city hall may change those school zones to playground areas. 

If those four buildings are used differently in the future, then city crews would remove the school-related speed signs, put them back into inventory and replace them with a standard sign, Harlton added. 

The next regular council meeting is Monday, May 27.  

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