Stickle Road light demanded

Regional District of North Okanagan demands Ministry of Transportation install a traffic control light at Highway 97 and Stickle Road

An extremely dangerous intersection is facing intense scrutiny again.

The Regional District of North Okanagan board unanimously agreed Wednesday to demand that the Ministry of Transportation install a traffic control light at Highway 97 and Stickle Road, in the Swan Lake corridor.

“We saw two extremely close calls where brakes locked up and horns were honking,” said director Bob Fleming, who recently did some landscaping work along the stretch.

The biggest challenge for motorists is left-turns from Stickle Road on to the highway. There have been about four or five fatalities there since 2001. According to ICBC statistics, since 2007 there have been 89 crashes at that intersection.

Resident George Zimmerman collected 1,363 names on a petition in 2006 asking for improvements there. Also that year, RDNO sought action from the ministry.

In 2011, a letter was written to MLA Eric Foster about the issue.

“No action has been taken,” said Fleming, adding that a coroner’s report in 2004 identified numerous hazards at the intersection.

Based on discussions with local ministry staff, Fleming believes there is no choice but to lobby Transportation Minister Blair Lekstrom directly.

“They have no interest in a traffic light so it will only come this way,” he said.

Besides providing access to commercial businesses and an RV campground, a light at Stickle Road could benefit local recreation enthusiasts.

“If a light was there, it would give pedestrians access to the wetlands at Swan Lake and behind Rona,” said Fleming.

“I intend to be persistent about this issue.”