It is summer and filling this space with something of pertinence can be a challenge.
Summer is after all the time most of us kick back and relax a bit before we start to entertain thoughts of shoveling snow again. That is why the federal Parliament is on hiatus, the provincial Legislature is on its summer break, and even Yorkton Council is down to a once-a-month meeting schedule.
Add in schools are closed for summer, and even the Regional Health Centre is trying its best to limit services to only those in immediate need, and the ‘issues’ for a space like this tend to dry up pretty quickly.
It is after all the responsibility of a newspaper to focus attention on issues of local interest in its editorials, and to ultimately offer some suggestions to improve the situation, or to offer up alternate solutions better suited to solving local problems.
Not in every case does the newspaper expect their suggestions to be followed, but we do hope to foster some second thought by those with their hands on the levers to ultimately affect change.
So what do people tear their attention away from the backyard barbecue, or plans for the lake, to be interested in during the heart of summer.
Well that is one place social media can be a tool to editorial writers who can post a simple comment such as ‘what is a good editorial topic’ and expect to have some immediate feedback.
One issue that was quickly pointed out, and has been brought up at coffee shop tables in the city the past couple of months is the reduction of speed limits when entering Yorkton.
Most people see the reductions as not just unwarranted, but as a nuisance to drivers. Few understand the need for the reductions which lower speed limits not just in areas of business and residential development, but out to the city limits past significant chunks of land where the highways are bordered basically by farm fields.
The idea of the reductions seem to be one designed to be proactive, with an eye to city growth. There were clearly some areas, particularly south past the Chamber of Commerce offices, where speed reduction was needed, especially in light of the Roundhouse Commercial Subdivision.
With recent city growth, and the expectation of that trend continuing, speed limits were generally reduced at one time, rather than piecemeal as developments spring up. That ‘one-time’ implementation might seem like a common sense approach, but is reality it is proving an annoyance to both local drivers and tourists who are not understanding the reasoning for lower speeds basically being ‘at some future point the lower speeds will be warranted’.
Sometimes you need to allow growth to take place so that such changes make sense to the public.
In this case officials may have been a bit too quick to reduce highway speeds.