–SPN Takeaways, November 14, 2016
Present: Tait, Parkinson, Logins, Pearson and Reay
D-2: Road Closures Delegation Request, re SPN Poll Results – Britt Santowski * Sooke Pocket News
Here is the presentation Santowski prepared for the delegation and presented to council:
Sooke PocketNews puts out polls, and I thought these findings might interest you.
When asked about the importance of timely knowledge of road incidences and closures affecting Sooke:
- 88% of respondents thought it was critical information
- 11% though it occasionally useful
- And only one voter, out of 375, thought it was unimportant
Timely knowledge of road closures and detours due to emergencies is:
- Critical (88%, 331 Votes)
- Occasionally useful (11%, 43 Votes)
- Unimportant (0%, 1 Votes)
Total Voters: 375
Polls on SPN are configured so that each user can only vote once. Their comments are included in your agenda package tonight.
When Steve Sorensen was the fire chief, he would tweet this information out. It helped people plan their travel, opt for detours or delay their travel, make it to appointments on time, or notify work or daycare if they would be late.
In speaking with the interim chief at the recent open house, Russ Cameron indicated that he didn’t have a provided data plan, nor did he have the directive from the District to pass this information along. He did say that once the call is complete, the information is passed along to staff. I’d like to point out that at that point, the information is no longer relevant to people driving in and out of Sooke.
When there are road delays or closures, it impacts the residents of Sooke.
The District of Sooke has both access to the tools (internet, iPhones, androids, and data plans) and you have access to the emergency responders (RCMP, Sooke Fire). It is possible to disseminate this information in a timely manner so that it is useful to your constituents.
This is also an opportunity to practice emergency protocols. Should there be an earthquake, you will already have the lines of communications clearly established, and duly rehearsed. You have at your finger tips three local and respected media sources, each with their own readership, and while I can’t speak for the others, Sooke PocketNews is available 24/7/365 to spread the word. So are a number of traffic-focussed groups on social media.
You have the tools. You have emergency responders at the scene. You have thousands of people travelling in and out every day. Perhaps it’s time to have the desire to communicate meaningful and relevant emergency information to your constituents. That directive needs to come from you.
Councillors Parkinson and Logins, and Mayor Tait spoke the value having of current traffic information.