A group of parents in Salmon Arm would like to see action taken to improve safety of intersections in the city, particularly uptown and particularly at the intersection of Highway 1 and 30th Street NE. (File photo)

A group of parents in Salmon Arm would like to see action taken to improve safety of intersections in the city, particularly uptown and particularly at the intersection of Highway 1 and 30th Street NE. (File photo)

60 parents want dangerous intersections in uptown Salmon Arm fixed

Letter to council points to ICBC data showing most intersection crashes at Highway 1, 30th Street NE

A group of about 60 parents have added their names to a letter to Salmon Arm council requesting safer walking and biking routes to Broadview area schools.

Claire Askew sent the letter dated Feb. 28, asking that the city engage in a community consultation process to develop a plan to slow traffic and improve safety along routes, mainly in Salmon Arm’s uptown.

The letter pointed to research showing intersections are key to street safety. It identified several intersections that were considered in greatest need of safety improvements. They included: Highway 1 and 30th Street NE, along with the two intersections which flank it, one near Setters and McDonald’s and the other near the uptown Tim Hortons. Also included was the intersection at Okanagan Avenue and 30th Street just down from Shuswap Middle School, along with 20th Avenue NE crossing at 24th Street.

The letter contained more information and data than many letters council receives, as well as 30 sources referenced. It noted the ‘Tank Hill’ intersection at Highway 1 and 30th Street NE is very dangerous for children.

“ICBC data tells us that the Tank Hill intersection is the most unsafe intersection in Salmon Arm – there have been 66 crashes and 33 casualties at this intersection in the five-year period between 2016-2020,” it stated, noting the adjoining intersections also have high crash rates.

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The letter stated “many parents won’t even allow their children to walk and bike to school or to other after school destinations such as the SASCU Community Centre. This is particularly problematic considering that Salmon Arm is growing and that many of the young families in Salmon Arm either already live in or are moving to the Broadview area.”

The letter noted that while the signatories aren’t professional traffic specialists, they have listed possible steps to slow traffic and improve intersection safety.

Some of the ideas listed were: removal of the slip lanes at the highway intersection; reduction of highway speed limits leading to the intersection at Highway 1 and 30th; installation of a pedestrian island; and the creation of a bike lane along 30th Street.

At council’s March 14 meeting when the letter was discussed, Mayor Alan Harrison said he and Coun. Tim Lavery had spoken to Askew. Harrison noted that Urban Systems, the consultants handling the planning for the upcoming Active Transportation Master Plan, will be holding a large public consultation process.

He said Askew’s letter has been sent to them, and Askew has been asked to make sure she and her group gets to speak to them.

“In that consultation process, both for members of the public to talk to the consultants, go to open houses and there’ll also be a survey, so we’re really trying to get that word out there,” Harrison said.

He said council is trying to get a direct route of conversation going to the consultants, as the input is very valuable.

Coun. Kevin Flynn suggested the letter also go to the city’s traffic safety committee.

Coun. Tim Lavery noted the letter has also been referred to the city’s ‘interim ideas sub-group,’ which considers what could be done in the interim until funding and planning of the active transportation master plan comes up. Lavery said the sub-group will be in touch with Askew.

Read more: Long-term fix demanded for Highway 1 potholes

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