What we need is a more sensitive, sensible solution than that designed during a sleepless nightmare by a confused knight in corroded armoire – something less bizarre in tone and detail.
Credibility check: Heading north on Hwy 97, just past the Prestige Inn is a speed limit sign of 50 kilometres per hour. About 100 metres further, around the curve, is an 80-kilometre-per-hour speed limit sign.
About another 100 metres northward is a stop light at 48th Avenue.
What sense does this make? About the same as the current $10 million Ministry of Transportation solution for safe control of the Stickle Road and Highway 97 intersection where a campground on the west side of Highway 97 will have many people wanting to cross the highway both on foot and in vehicles, to get to the welcoming pub on the east side of the highway.
The ministry’s plan is to have a safe zone in the middle of the 90-kilometre-per-hour highway for pedestrians going to and from the pub.
Clever planning, eh?
To begin with, the speed limit should be reduced to 70 or 80 kilometres per hour approaching the truck weigh station from the both the north and south, in any case.
Then, the first choice traffic control solution would be a roundabout at Stickle Road to keep the traffic flowing, but allow much safer access and exit to and from Stickle Road, both sides of Highway 97, for both pedestrians and vehicles.
The second choice would be a sensor operated traffic light which would allow traffic or pedestrians to cross or enter the highway from Stickle Road only as necessary so as to maintain traffic flow as much as possible. The light will likely be needed within five years in any case, if the current proposed solution is implemented. Not so with the roundabout.
Both of these solutions, with appropriate speed limits between Stickle Road and Vernon, would allow safe access to, from and across the highway, and lessen the pileup of traffic at 43rd Avenue and Highway 97 (Vernon Square mall), making access and egress to and from the mall more convenient and the traffic through Vernon somewhat less congested by slowing the entrance of southbound vehicles into Vernon.
This solution is recommended to our new NDP government.