New details reveal further Stickle upset

Mayor blasts concept of blocking off 27th Street exit to those turning left off Stickle Road

Vernon’s mayor is increasingly frustrated after more details were revealed for a busy intersection.

Ministry of Transportation officials told Akbal Mund Monday that once Stickle Road and Highway 97 is realigned, anyone turning south from Stickle will not be able to access the 27th Street exit into Vernon.

“The majority of vehicles want to go to 27th Street,” said Mund.

Under the ministry proposal, anyone turning left from Stickle on to the highway would not be able to use the 27th Street exit and would have to go over the overpass and use side roads to get to Walmart and the Village Green Centre.

Mund believes motorists will be delayed and take chances to get where they want to go.

“It defeats the purpose of having this plan.”

Ministry officials say their design was developed because there wouldn’t be enough time for motorists to come off of Stickle and merge into the 27th Street exit.

The fact that motorists coming from Stickle won’t be able to make the 27th Street exit isn’t a big deal, says Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA.

“You just go over the hill and make a left turn.”

The ministry is proposing to construct a protected T intersection to allow for left-turns from Stickle Road on to the highway towards Vernon.

There would be a separate left turn with turn-around access for the Silver Star RV Park area and the ministry would eliminate highway cross-movements and left-hand turns from the RV park.

There would also be new acceleration lanes leaving Stickle Road and existing deceleration lanes entering Stickle Road from the highway would be lengthened.

“We’re not happy with the proposal,” said David Claeys, spokesperson for Stickle Road property owners and businesses.

“Once sewer comes into the area, there will be tremendous growth and the safest thing is a traffic light. We’re not sure why they (ministry) are so reluctant to do that.”

Claeys is asking for any reports the ministry used to rule out a traffic signal.

“We want to work with them on a positive solution.”

Ministry staff have stated that a signal would slow down traffic on the highway, lead to long lines on Stickle Road and result in fender-benders.

“I’ve also heard from a tremendous number of people who travel that highway every day who don’t want a speedlight and don’t want to slow down,” said Foster.

“There’s control T’s all over the place and they work really well.”

The Ministry of Transportation will hold a public open house on its Stickle Road proposal today from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Prestige Hotel