I attended the public meeting to discuss the proposal to change Highway 97 configuration at the intersections of Carson and Toop.
The Ministry of Highways personnel were there to explain the two options — both of which will remove the lights at Carson and move the lights to Toop.
The intersection at Toop and Highway 97 is a very dangerous intersection and many accidents occur here. I believe if we move the lights to this intersection we will be moving the problem of an uncontrolled intersection to Carson and many more accidents will happen there.
So in essence we are just moving the problem!
I propose that the lights remain at Carson and a left turn light be installed — the intersection should be widened to make it safer and the left turn lane lengthened.
The intersection at Toop should have a meridian along the middle of the Highway to prevent left turns and driving across the highway. It should also be widened and improved. By preventing left turns and driving across the highway we will eliminate most accidents.
The speed of drivers coming into our city from the north is also an issue and I would like to see the speed limit of 60 km extended further north so that drivers, entering our city, are going at city speeds as they enter our community.
I am very concerned that if the Ministry of Transportation and the city go ahead with the proposal to remove the lights at Carson that our citizens will be at risk making left turns — especially our new drivers who go to school at the Williams Lake campus on Carson.
If the proposal goes through and Johnson Road is punched through to become a main artery in the city it will bring more traffic into a residential area.
I felt that the Ministry of Transportation was more concerned about the grade in the highway and challenges for truck drivers stopping at the Carson intersection. These are professional drivers who have been navigating this highway successfully for years. Is that more important than the safety of our citizens, especially our youth?
I hope that the city council will make a decision based on public input and what would be the safest solution for our community!