Just like snow in winter, objections to a four-way stop on 50th Street and 70th Avenue NE in Canoe have not stopped.
As a follow-up to a presentation to Salmon Arm council on Nov. 22, Canoe resident Stig Keskinen has announced he is organizing a protest.
In his presentation, accompanied by a 150-plus signature petition, he asked council to remove the stop signs on 50th Street and go back to the original two stop signs on 70th Avenue. His concerns are about navigating the 50th Street hill in icy conditions, both up and down.
Keskinen and resident Phyllis Britton suggested speed bumps on 50th be considered instead.
City staff explained the plan for the four-way stop had come from the city’s traffic safety committee. Staff said the city had received numerous complaints over the years of speed on 50th, as well as a survey from a group called the Canoe Traffic Calming Work Group. The traffic safety committee reviewed the work group’s letter and survey and recommended the four-way stop. The four-way stop was not among the group’s requests.
At the conclusion of the presentation and follow-up discussions, Mayor Alan Harrison suggested that Keskinen write a letter with some of the ideas he has, which council can forward to the traffic safety committee. He said the committee would come back to council with a recommendation on whether to take action.
In a Dec. 7 submission to the Observer, Keskinen said a protest is being organized against the new four-way stop. He said it is slated for Saturday, Dec. 18 at 10 a.m. at the intersection.
In the meantime, he said he went to the intersection on Saturday, Dec. 4 with a video camera to document the difficulties drivers were having on the hill as snow accumulated. The snow was about an inch (2.5 centimetres) deep while he was recording. He knew there would be issues as his family has lived in Canoe for more than 50 years, he said.
“I recorded drivers spinning out and unable to make the hill, putting them in the precarious situation of having to back down this hill. Other drivers actually passed these vehicles while approaching the crest of the hill. These drivers went into the oncoming lane and would have been unable to see approaching vehicles. In other words, ‘a blind pass.’ I recorded a set of tire tracks on the sidewalk and evidence of other spin outs prior to my arrival.”
Keskinen said he will continue to document difficulties on the hill when it snows.
“At some point I will have enough evidence that the new four-way stop increases the danger to drivers and pedestrians and present this to the traffic and safety committee.”
He said he received a lot of positive comments and feedback from drivers and pedestrians while he was videoing.
“As a result of these comments, the lack of interest by council and the many people who signed the petition, I decided to organize said protest.”
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