Residents who live in the 600 block of 10th Avenue and 8th Avenue SE are petitioning Salmon Arm council to make 10th Avenue between 6th Street and 4th Street SE safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm residents warn of more crashes on 10th Avenue SE

Petition requests city action on speed, traffic and poor visibility above Shoemaker Hill

A group of Salmon Arm residents is petitioning city council to improve safety on 10th Avenue SE before more accidents or a death occurs.

Council received a letter from Bruce Weicker with a 23-signature petition from residents in the area between the 400 and 600 blocks of 10th Avenue SE. That stretch of 10th is on the approach to the steep ‘S’ bend, or Shoemaker Hill as it’s often called.

While public safety was the main concern expressed, several contributing issues were listed.

They included the speed of traffic – both downhill and uphill, the increase in volume of traffic in recent years, and the visibility restrictions along 10th Avenue SE. The letter pointed to the risk for pedestrians, especially if walking around the inside corner at Fifth Street SE and 10th Avenue SE.

“It is a question of time before someone is seriously hurt or killed walking around that corner (at the least there should be a warning to pedestrians in both directions informing them of the danger and indicating that they need to use the outside corner of that curve),” the letter states.

It concluded with recommendations for the city:

• lower the speed to 30 km/hr with highlighted signage and enforcement;

• institute traffic calming measures such as rumble strips or speed bumps; and

• do more bush and tree trimming along the south side of 10th Avenue SE.

Coun. Kevin Flynn said staff and council have heard concerns before regarding the approach to Shoemaker Hill and the surrounding area during rezoning applications.

He suggested the letter be forwarded “as a significant priority” to the city’s traffic safety committee.

“I think we all know the long-term solution is an alternative route to downtown, but in the short term, are there things that can be done that make this hill and that area more safe – besides smarter driving in winter?” Flynn asked.

His motion to refer the requests to the traffic safety committee passed unanimously.
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A semi truck and trailer sit stuck after trying to maneuver through a switchback of Shoemaker Hill on 10th Avenue SE in October 2019. A sign prohibiting trucks is visible in the foreground. (YJ Sicotte - Facebook photo)

A long, large semi truck and trailer attempted to climb Shoemaker Hill on 10th Avenue SE in August 2017 and had to be towed out. (Ben’s Towing - Facebook)

A fully loaded asphalt truck tipped over on steep Shoemaker Hill on 10th Avenue SE in August 2018. (File photo)

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