Lights needed at intersection

The intersection of Highway 97 and Old Vernon Road warrants immediate safety improvements.

However, left turns should not be eliminated, as recommended in the Okanagan Gateway Transportation Study (2020).

There is clearly a demand for left turns at this intersection as it serves as the northern access to the airport, the communities of Ellison and Sunset Ranch, the Kangaroo Farm and the backcountry recreation area east of Highway 97.

Banning southbound left turns from Highway 97 will inconvenience thousands of people who live east of the airport by increasing their trip length and travel time, impact transit serving businesses north of the airport terminal and add to downstream congestion at other Highway 97 intersections, such as at Airport Way, Hereron Road and Sexsmith Road.

The sensible solution to this issue is to install a traffic signal at the intersection, accompanied by a speed limit reduction to 80 kilometres per hour, to match what exists south of Airport Way.

A traffic signal and speed limit reduction will improve safety and accommodate the increasing volume of truck and auto traffic generated by fruit packing operations and community growth east of the airport.

As Troy Cook points out in his letter to Castanet, (Intersection fix suggestion, July 4) cutting off left turn access at Highway 97 and Old Vernon Road will just shift congestion and safety issues to another location.

I urge decision makers to pause and consult communities and other stakeholders before eliminating turning movements at Highway 97 and Old Vernon Road.

Dave Colquhoun

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The opinions expressed here are strictly those of the author. Castanet does not in any way warrant the information presented.

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