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Last updateWed, 28 Feb 2024 12pm

Town seeks direction on public transit

    At the Committee of the Whole meeting on October 31, 2011, members of council discussed the feasibility of public transit in the Drumheller Valley.
    The closest notion of public transportation in the Valley at the moment is the Valley Bus, a non profit society mandated  to help transport the elderly and disabled. The bus, rather than having routes, is dispatched directly to users who request transportation.
    Plans to implement public transit in Drumheller have remained in park for some time. However, the Town of Drumheller is shifting gears.
    Town administration is in the process of fine tuning a survey to be sent out to Valley residents to determine if and what services residents would desire from any public transit service.
    “Whether there are enough people who would use it, that’s what we don’t know,” said Councillor Tom Zariski. “We encourage everyone to take part in the survey.”
    The initial plan would be to have two routes. One would run between Nacmine and downtown Drumheller. The second would travel between Midland and downtown. There would be  a number of stops along the way for each route. However, other routes would be considered.
    “Depending on the survey results we may have a route to East Coulee,” said Zariski. “We need input from residents to give us direction.”
    The aim of the public transit service would be to accommodate people who are limited in their ability to travel by not having access to a vehicle. At this point, the proposed service would not be a replacement for a daily commute.
    “The transportation routes we have planned are probably not conducive for people going to and from work,” said Zariski. “It’s more for people who want to go downtown occasionally and if they don’t have a vehicle they can plan their schedule around the routes.”
    Another aspect of the public transit service would be to accommodate tourists. Routes could be schedule between hotels and tourist attractions. Getting tourists on board could alleviate parking problems during the busy weekends and help subsidize the service.
    There would be a few job opportunities, depending on how widespread public transit becomes. Drivers, mechanics, cleaners, and more would be needed to keep things operating smoothly.
    Fees for bus use have not been discussed as of yet, but one thing is certain, taxpayers would foot some of the bill.
    During the Committee of the Whole meeting the question was raised as to whether the proposed service would be run by the Valley Bus Society. Council members felt that the Town should lead efforts.
    “The Valley Bus Society has been effective for many years,” said Zariski. “But, it’s mandate is to transport seniors and disabled persons.”
    Were public transportation given the green light, it would not replace the Valley Bus. The Valley Bus service would continue to run.
    As of this time, public transit in Drumheller is only in the research phase and the plans mentioned herein are subject to the desires of residents. The Town of Drumheller will soon be sending out surveys and any input could shape the route public transit takes in the future.


Man receives conditional sentence for drug possession

    A man who was discovered in the possession of about 15 pounds of marijuana was placed under a conditional sentence order of 16 months.
    Steven Michael Brausse appeared in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, October 28 to be sentenced on the charge of possession of drugs for the purposes of trafficking.
    The court heard how, on October 20, 2010 police made a traffic stop on Highway 9 east of Morrin corner after the officer noticed the licence plate on the vehicle stopped was not well illuminated.
    When the officer exited his own vehicle, he noted the strong smell of fresh marijuana emanating out of the stopped SUV.  The search of the vehicle revealed a large box with about 15 pounds of marijuana, of which, about sixpounds was bud while the rest was stems and leaves. There were also items in the SUV associated with a marijuana growing operation.
    Defense for Brausse said his client was assisting a friend to harvest and dismantle a growing operation, and this behaviour was out of character. A favourable presentence report was also provided.
    The Federal Prosecutor and defense agreed a conditional sentence order would be appropriate in the circumstances.
    Brausse is subject to an order where he is to live under house arrest for the first six months of his sentence, and for the remainder of his 16 month sentence he is to abide by a curfew from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Items seized in the stop have been forfeited for disposal, and Brausse also received a mandatory firearm prohibition.

Pedestrians focus of Traffic Safety for November

    With the changing weather and reduced number of daylight hours the concern for pedestrian safety increases. During the month of November, Saferoads, an initiative of the  Alberta Office of Traffic Safety will be extra vigilant that users of the roadways conduct themselves in such a manner to support the safety of pedestrians. The following are some recommended safety tips:
    For drivers:
• When approaching an intersection or crosswalk be alert for pedestrians.
• Watch for vehicles stopped or slowing in the lane next to yours. They may be yielding to a pedestrian.
• Stay alert and slow down on residential streets and through school and playground zones.
• Failing to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk carries a fine of $575 plus 4 demerit points.
     For pedestrians:
• POINT, PAUSE, and PROCEED. Be alert at intersections and always look out for danger when crossing the street.
• Always use crosswalks and pedestrian-activated signals when they are available and cross only at intersections if they are not.
• Never jaywalk. Drivers are not anticipating pedestrians crossing in the middle of the street so they may not have enough time to avoid hitting you.
• Make eye contact with drivers before you cross the street.
• Be seen! Wear bright coloured or reflective clothing especially when walking in low light or poor weather conditions.
• Walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk, walk off the road, facing traffic, staying as far away from the vehicles as possible.
• If you are impaired, seek assistance and alternative transportation. Alcohol is often a factor in serious pedestrian collisions. On average over one-third of pedestrians in fatal crashes and 15 per cent in injury crashes had consumed alcohol prior to the collision.
• Pay attention! Remove headphones; put away cell phones or other electronic devices when crossing the street.
• Abide by traffic signs and signals. They are in place to protect your safety.
    Both drivers and pedestrians are responsible for safety. Pedestrians have the right of way in crosswalks, but pedestrians also have the responsibility to cross safely. From 2005 to 2009, on average each year in Alberta, more than 40 pedestrians were killed and over 1250 were injured.
    Additional information on the Saferoads - Traffic Safety in Alberta website at: http://www.saferoads.com/drivers/tips_pedsafety.html.


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