Council turns to road safety
Mar 30, 2012 / 4:27 pm
Complaints by residents and West Kelowna Council about the need for more left turn lights along Highway 97 has not fallen on deaf ears.
Staff from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) stood before West Kelowna Council earlier this week with a strategy for implementation of left turn signals along the highway corridor which snakes its way through municipal and Westbank First Nation lands.
MOTI ranked six intersections in descending priority levels:
1. Butt – left turn signal installation underway (working with WFN and local developments)
2. Bartley (all directions)
3. Gellatly/Gossett (all directions)
4. Westlake/Hudson (side street)
5. Daimler (side street - optional)
6. Ross – no improvements suggested at this time
West Kelowna Mayor, Doug Findlater, says council didn't agree with all of the recommendations put forward by MOTI, but adds some they could probably accept.
"Not all of them are even listed. There are some uncontrolled ones like Bering and Grizzly that we think they need to look at in some way to make them safer as well."
Findlater says the ministry suggested a 50/50 cost sharing formula with the municipality.
With a potential cost of, perhaps $50,000 per intersection coming back to the municipality, Findalter says staff will parallel their data with financial information and come up with their own list of priority intersections.
"Our staff will prioritise these things and bring something back to council. I'm confident we'll be able to get at least a couple of them going."
Meantime, Findlater did caution residents that the ministry made it clear not to expect traffic measures at all six intersections identified.
"Their mandate is to move traffic," adds Findlater.
"If you had some form of advance turn signal at all six plus the seventh already (Hudson and Westlake) and the eighth at Boucherie, you would be slowing traffic down substantially."
Findlater says the left turn light recently installed at Hudson and Westlake has been working very well.
The public outcry for better traffic measures is in response to several serious and fatal crashes in recent years.
The most recent claimed the life of a West Kelowna woman on March 3 at Ross Road and Highway 97.
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