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Citizens seek TCH speed reduction

Fast track: A semi truck passes through the crosswalk on the Trans-Canada Highway near North Canoe Elementary School. Canoe residents will be asking the province to consider dropping the speed limit in the area from 90 km/hr to 70. - Lachlan Labere photo
Fast track: A semi truck passes through the crosswalk on the Trans-Canada Highway near North Canoe Elementary School. Canoe residents will be asking the province to consider dropping the speed limit in the area from 90 km/hr to 70.
— image credit: Lachlan Labere photo

Canoe residents will have the support of city council when they ask the province to reduce the speed limit along Highway 1.

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is currently gathering public input on speed limits along rural highways as part of their Rural Highway Safety and Speed Review. Canoe residents will be submitting a related request to reduce the speed limit along the Trans-Canada Highway in the Canoe area from 90 to 70 kilometres an hour. The speed change would span from the top of the hill west of the 50th Street NE turnoff (roughly the location of the Cal-Van Motel), to the Canoe Forest Products administrative offices.

In a presentation to Salmon Arm council, Canoe resident Bob Stratton – representing 200 people who signed a petition supporting the speed limit change –  explained the current, 90 km/hr speed limit along this corridor has long been a safety issue. He noted how the stretch of highway, which includes a school zone and North Canoe Elementary School – sees an average of 6,000 vehicles passing through daily, and 24 per cent of that is semi tractor-trailer traffic.

“Twelve business and 30 homes directly access the highway, with the majority being fronted by solid lines,” said Stratton. “In the areas where traffic can cross the solid lines, accessing side roads still requires speed reductions to under 30 km/hr, and often results in unsavoury horn-honks from truckers.”

Stratton said there is a crosswalk going across the highway near the school, with signs to the west and east stating the speed limit is 50 km/hr when there are children crossing. But he said that typically, by the time truckers have seen the signs, they’re already passing them.

Coun. Alan Harrison said council had already spoken to MOTI district manager Murray Tekano about reducing the highway speed limit in the area of concern, and Tekano and the province were not supportive.

Noting some reluctance among his peers, Coun. Ken Jamieson argued it was council’s job to make sure those who signed the petition receive a fair hearing from the ministry, after which council agreed to add its support for the speed limit reduction.

Coun. Chad Eliason said he doesn’t think the province will listen to the petition. He added, however, that it may prompt MOTI to move planned highway improvements related to the proposed Club Shuswap RV/seasonal use residential development higher on its list of priorities.

 

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