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Saskatoon city councillor calls for safety audit at site where cyclist died

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City councillor Cynthia Block is calling for a road safety audit at the site of a fatal crash on College Drive last week.

Natasha Fox, 33, was biking at the intersection of Wiggins Avenue and College Drive on May 24 when a collision with a cement truck claimed her life.

Block pointed to a history of safety concerns at the intersection, which serves as a primary access point to the university campus.

“As you know, there was a tragedy in our community this past week with the death of somebody at the corner of College Drive and Wiggins Avenue. And I know that the story of cycling in this area has been a topic for many years, more than a decade that I’m aware,” said Block.

Block asked for council’s support in fast-tracking a third-party road safety audit for the intersection, using $30,000 in city money that would otherwise be transferred to the capital reserve.

By fast-tracking the motion, councillors would have to unanimously vote to waive the notice period required to give the public or stakeholders the opportunity to respond.

“This is very difficult because I completely feel the sense of urgency to have a discussion about these locations,” said Coun. Mairin Loewen.

Loewen said she felt it may be beneficial for their discussion to give administration a little more time to gather information so they can better respond to councillors questions on the issue.

“So, with a lot of ambivalence, I’m going to vote against waiving notice. It’s not that I don’t see this as urgent, but I want to ensure that when these motions are before us we actually have the ability to consider as comprehensive information from admin as we possibly can as well as to hear feedback from the community,” Loewen said.

Councillors Hill and Donauer also sided with Loewen, preferring to leave time for a more “fulsome debate” at the next council meeting.

The motion is on the agenda for June 7.

A memorial bike ride commemorating Fox took place on Wednesday afternoon, with the procession ending at the intersection where she died to observe a moment of silence.

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