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Guelph is not the place B.C. resident remembers

Got in my big truck in B.C. and drove across the country. Sixty hours later, I made it to the Royal City to visit and surprise my mother.
Being about to pull into the driveway on Downey Road, I turned my signal on. A car behind me going twice the speed limit nearly ran into me.
In the house, I asked my mother it’s normal that with a speed limit of 50 km/h, someone is driving easily double that. She tells me that Downey has become a road where everyone drives 50 km/h-plus and it’s quite difficult to get in and out of the driveway.
Coming from B.C. where school zones are 30 km/h and heavily enforced, I was shocked to see there is a school 200 metres from my mother’s place and the speed limit is 50 km/h and no enforcement.
Then, when an ambulance has its lights on in an emergency, cars keep driving and don’t pull over.
I lived in Guelph for 11 years, and people used to be courteous, used   common sense and watched for pedestrians, cyclists, the elderly and kids around.
Guelph used to have charm in the farm lands and the beautiful forests that surrounded it and was an environmentally conscientious city. How have these farm lands been turned to subdivisions, how has the environment been forgotten and what happened to City of Guelph councillors who used to fight for the environment?
At some point the expansion of all these subdivisions is going to put a strain on the resources for the city, water, electricity and such.
I was invited to go for a Jane’s Walk around the Downey-Niska area, and hearing about the changes that the city is moving towards made me cringe.
The Bailey Bridge on Niska Road has been around for 40 years. There’s a proposal to replace it with a three-lane bridge, therefore destroying the natural habitat of the wetlands on both sides and impacting the wildlife in the area.
While on the walk to the Bailey Bridge, drivers were impolite, telling us to move, and drivers were going way too fast.
I guess council’s priority is no longer the environment and the people they have sworn to support and protect.
Chadi Abouhalka
British Columbia

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