Check your mailbox for your "Notice of Entry" to make sure that you can participate on November 5th (or at the advance polls).
The construction of a community storage shed in our park is a unique project. There is a history of community gatherings here in the La Croisée community and like them, the shed has a truth that is not often proclaimed. It is like a missed footnote to a text and that truth deserves better.
In the winter of 2015-2016, our community association was shown a drawing for the park upgrade plan to be completed in 2016. Despite that being against normal protocol, that offering came with a caveat – don’t tell anyone.
Upholding that promise, a community survey was released to simply gather the opinions of neighbours regarding thoughts on our current and potential public space - our parks.
A report was then presented to the City that included a few questions to residents regarding the possibility of a community storage shed. (The full report can be found in the “Document Library”)
( From "Overview" in the La Croisée Community Survey Report - June 2016)
"… Designers have a great deal of knowledge that is infinitely more resonant when it is used to help everyday citizens articulate their needs and create public spaces that are responsive to the communities they serve." (Fred Kent, Project for Public Spaces, "Whom does design really serve" Oct. 3, 2012.)
There is enough cynicism and apathy but the truth is - without our neighbours coming together, participating, and offering support at events, registering, taking just a little bit of their time, helping with the survey, this project would not have been possible.
It wasn’t perfect, not every single voice was heard but make no mistake, - the survey report was recognised. It reverberated with the City administration. They heard a legitimate voice speak for a possible shared benefit: a public good proclaimed to be so, by a significant number of our community members.
The City of Gatineau employees then respectfully, with expertise and resources, incorporated the shed foundation and electrical supply into our park upgrade. This was done with available funding within the original work - all in support of this project for our community.
We can feel like it's just a symphony of problems and complaints, but when citizen agency (the ability to act) is locally enabled, a vacuum can be filled if we learn and engage
in a respectful and legitimate manner. The truth is - it works. Of course, it comes with legal responsibilities, design and budgetary constraints, effort, and it’s slow - but it does work.
Even though it is a bit complicated and will have taken two years to be built, the shed will be created by our residents and a public administration that supports them.
Together, if we take care of it responsibly, use it to it's full potential, our community will be nurtured. And that is the other story in the offering we already know about community.
Like most communities, La Croisee has a maximum traffic speed limit of 40 km/hr, - for a reason.
Many residents and families instinctively know what that reason is. It is mainly this - nine out of ten (that's 90%) - of unprotected pedestrians (including children walking, biking) when hit by a car travelling at 60km/h would be killed. And approximately 80% of unprotected pedestrians would be killed at 50 km/hr.
It’s clear “traffic calming” measures in our streets is a question of life or death.
Source: “Speed management: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners.” Geneva, Global Road Safety Partnership, 2008”
Research shows that in order to reduce the cruising speed on residential roads, the problem must be addressed in 3 simultaneous ways:
By working on these three elements the City of Gatineau, the police department and our residents, all together, can create a calming “safe zone”, where drivers proceed slowly throughout the community. The La Croisee Community Association and our Street Representatives will be helping with this initiative in the coming weeks.