Chabot’s street racing motion gets a stop sign at council committee

The committee voted 6-2 to end the ride

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Coun. Andre Chabot filed a motion asking city officials to investigate temporary road closures in an industrial area to give drivers an outlet other than residential streets to try out their modified cars. His idea was to explore whether the move might help cut down on illegal street racing and instead create a permitted space where emergency services would be on hand.

At council’s executive committee, motions are meant to get a technical review only before being passed up to a full council meeting for debate. But the committee voted 6-2 to end the ride.

Coun. Richard Pootmans said the motion lacked enough research on injuries or deaths associated with illegal racing, and what effect a permitted track might have.

Mayor Jyoti Gondek questioned why members of the city’s legal team hadn’t been consulted when the motion was crafted.

She said she didn’t dispute that racing on city streets is making some feel unsafe, but didn’t see enough evidence that Chabot’s proposal would help.

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“I guess where the disconnect for me is the reach to say, ‘If we provide a sanctioned speedway, that will make it better.’ I’m missing the connection between the two things,” she said.

Coun. Terry Wong was the only councillor to vote alongside Chabot in favour of moving the motion along to council.

Chabot said he was simply hoping for a scoping report on the possibility of city racing space, and that some of the concerns his colleagues have could be addressed through that process.

He said he’s heard feedback from people who live in his northeast ward that Rundlehorn Drive and Temple Drive are especially problematic for speeding.

“Car after car after 9 (p.m.) seem to make it their mission to see how fast they can get their cars racing down that road,” he said.

“Do we have to wait until someone gets injured before we come to the conclusion that residential speeding is an actual thing?”
Twitter: @meksmith

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