Acceleration lanes bypassed

Few right-hand-turns in Highway 97A through Spallumcheen and Armstrong is the main reason for no acceleration lanes.

Not many right-hand-turns throughout the new and improved section of Highway 97A through Spallumcheen and Armstrong is the main reason for no acceleration lanes.

The ministry of transportation says engineers who designed the new highway considered whether to include acceleration lanes, but the lanes weren’t included because the engineers’ studies show a low volume of right-turns throughout the corridor.

And the engineers did not expect that volume to increase to a point that acceleration lanes would be required.

The mayors of Armstrong and Spallumcheen requested a meeting with transportation officials after receiving numerous calls from residents asking why there were no acceleration lanes anymore at the intersections of Smith Drive, Rosedale Avenue and Harding Road.

“Acceleration lanes are used where there are high volumes of both right turns and through traffic,” said Kate Trotter, spokesperson for the ministry of transportation.

“Also, with two lanes in each direction, instead of one, it is easier to find gaps for righ-t turn traffic to safely enter the highway.”

The project in Armstrong-Spallumcheen, which officially opened Nov. 10, involved constructing four kilometres of four-lane highway with wider shoulders and rumble strips. Five intersections were upgraded with improved sightlines, left-turn bays and deceleration lanes.

“This project has delivered improved safety and capacity, and will improve travel times,” said Trotter.