Persistence appears to be paying off.
City council in general, and Mayor Alan Harrison in particular, have been lobbying the provincial government for years to install a red light camera at the intersection of the Trans-Canada Highway and Alexander Street NE.
At this year’s Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver, city politicians and staff from Salmon Arm met with Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General Mike Farnworth to plead their case.
Farnworth has since written to Harrison stating he is pleased the city is acting on the joint Trans-Canada Highway safety study undertaken with ICBC. That’s the one that will see the traffic light at Ross Street moved to Fourth Street NE, near the downtown Tim Hortons. The work is set to begin in the spring.
Past rejections of the request for a red light camera downtown have pointed to other intersections in B.C. which experience far more crashes. Farnworth points out that all current camera locations were selected based on analysis of risk factors, including crash frequency, crash severity, crash type and the potential for improvement at the site.
However, he also writes: “Additionally, as commercial vehicle traffic is a specific concern along the Trans-Canada Highway in Salmon Arm, this contributes to the analysis and recommendations for improved corridor safety.”
He then requests that Harrison send his office the request for the red light camera as well as any research and evidence he has.
Harrison is more than ready to do so.
He says he’ll reiterate some of the points that council made during the UBCM meeting, such as Salmon Arm being the only community in B.C. with the Trans-Canada Highway running through its downtown. He’ll also provide statistics on traffic, trucks running the lights and accidents.
Harrison also pointed out the minister said he’d like to visit Salmon Arm as he’s never been to the community before.
So in that letter will be an invitation.
“I can take him right down to Alexander and the Trans-Canada Highway so he can see for himself as the vehicles go by, Harrison said.
Coun. Sylvia Lindgren added that perhaps Farnworth could split his time between Alexander and Shuswap.
“Because I’ve personally reported two semi trucks turning left off the highway travelling east onto Shuswap Street. There were blatant red lights before they even entered the intersection,” she said.
Lindgren has reported the incidents to the police as well as the company that owns the trucks.
“So we’ve got more than one hot spot,” she said.
Harrison thanked her and said he would walk up that way with the minister. He said he’ll also invite council to come along.