Kristal Burgess, leader of the Canoe Traffic-Calming Working Group, wrote to council in November 2020 requesting safety improvements, including the reduction or eradication of speeding up and down 50th Street, the main access road in and out of Canoe. (Kristal Burgess photo)

Dangerous drivers prompt request from Canoe residents to Salmon Arm council

Traffic-calming work group makes several requests, including better signage and more police presence

City councillor Kevin Flynn doesn’t need any convincing that drivers speed dangerously fast down the main road in Canoe.

While council was discussing a letter from the Canoe Traffic-Calming Work Group, which was requesting traffic safety measures, Flynn described his experience about a year ago while standing in front of the home of group leader Kristall Burgess, who wrote the letter.

“A vehicle went by at probably over 100 kilometres an hour. It was shocking, it was so fast you couldn’t react, you couldn’t get a licence, you couldn’t do anything about it. I really hope that the traffic safety committee looks at options.”

He said he would like to see snowplow-friendly methods tested.

Burgess’s letter said the group was formed to survey residents and brainstorm ways to address the issues.

“Our main issue is that the traffic habits within our village have become frighteningly dangerous, especially for our children.”

She referred to a September visit from the Salmon Arm Citizens Patrol that recorded five vehicles travelling at 80 km/hr in the 30 km/hr zone on 50th Street NE outside North Canoe Elementary.

“Nearly every day there are reports of speeding drivers, near misses, and dangerous behaviours on our streets.”

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The letter made four immediate requests.

• The first, to install one, preferably two, raised crosswalks near the North Canoe school.

• Secondly, to put up signage that would alert drivers to the children on 50th Street NE as well as reduce the speed limit to 30 or 40 km/hr.

• The third request would be for the city to erect signs reducing the speed limit throughout Canoe. Currently, the letter stated, the school zone sign and one 50 km/hr sign on Lakeshore, which are both often ignored, are the only signs in place.

• Fourthly, the committee requested an occasional RCMP presence in Canoe, particularly on 50th Street, the school zone and Lakeshore Drive.

• A final request was regarding pedestrians who walk between Canoe Beach and the Canoe Village Store where there is no room to walk safely on either side. The group requested a single, safe walking path with gravel and edging or, preferably, a concrete sidewalk.

Seventy per cent of respondents to the group’s survey were either concerned ‘a lot’ or ‘a great deal’ about drivers speeding in Canoe.

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond complimented the Canoe community for the thorough work it did.

“It’s not just firing off a letter saying this makes me mad, but they really dug into it and I hope that data is helpful and I look forward to some practical solutions.”

The letter with survey was sent to the city’s traffic safety committee and the city engineer.


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