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Traffic safety committee stands by four-way stop at Canoe intersection

Committee of ICBC, RCMP, Ministry of Transportation reps and city staff OK status quo
Some Canoe residents are not happy with the new four-way stop installed at the intersection of 50th Street and 70th Avenue NE, but the city’s traffic safety committee determined the four-way stop is the best solution. (File photo)

No changes are foreseen for a four-way stop in Canoe.

In response to concerns about the four-way stop at 50th Street NE and 70th Avenue NE, the city’s traffic safety committee took a second look.

The result: the committee supports the four-way stop and no action is recommended.

Committee members’ comments, according to minutes of their Nov. 18 meeting, touched on a few areas.

One member said it was anticipated the stop sign would help the issue of cars sliding through the intersection as drivers will be expecting to stop rather than taking the corner at speed.

A school district representative said the district appreciates the four-way stop and would be removing its bus stop at the intersection. They said bus stops at intersections are not a good idea and removing it has been on the radar for a while. Another committee member said a four-way stop provides incentive to drive under control.

The committee includes city staff as well as ICBC, RCMP, School District 83 and Ministry of Transportation representatives.

At council’s Dec. 13 meeting, minutes of the traffic safety committee meeting were on the agenda. Mayor Alan Harrison noted that approving the minutes means council agrees with recommendations. The motion passed unanimously, with council deferring to the expertise of the committee. Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond was absent.

Read more: Protest planned for 4-way stop in Canoe as concerns over slippery hill persist  

Read more: ‘Ill-conceived idea’: New four-way stop in Canoe gets the red light from residents

Coun. Kevin Flynn said he had missed the Nov. 22 council meeting but understood an issue had been forwarded to the committee. He asked for clarification of the committee’s role because he said he can’t see reason to question what the experts have decided.

Flynn said he appreciated the opportunity, but thought it was important to point out the reason the city has the process is to take politics out of traffic safety and rely on the experts.

“Just so I can understand, the process is, we get letters all the time about a crosswalk here and a stop sign there and concerns about safety. Those get forwarded by the director of engineering and public works to traffic and safety, where the professionals speak to it and come back with recommendations… ultimately we can question those if we want but in my mind, that would be a little bit foolhardy. Is that the proper process?”

Mayor Alan Harrison said it’s exactly the process.

“I agree with your analysis of it,” Harrison said. “And by asking if there’s any business arising, really it’s about is there anything that council doesn’t understand in the minutes that they might like to. Because I agree, I think certainly the traffic safety committee are the experts, and their recommendations should be the ones that are followed.”

The concerns considered by the committee came from a Nov. 4 letter/email accompanied by a 150-signature petition which were forwarded to the city in advance of a presentation at council’s Nov. 22 meeting. There, Canoe resident Stig Keskinen expressed his and others’ concerns with the four-way stop, asking how vehicles heading downhill were going to stop once the hill was covered in ice, and predicted when they start up the hill from a stop, their tires would spin, further increasing the slickness of the road. The request was to return to a two-way stop on 70th.
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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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