EDITOIAL: Birnie Road plan trashed

One has to wonder how often Ministry of Transportation staff visit the Greater Vernon landfill?

One has to wonder how often Ministry of Transportation staff visit the Greater Vernon landfill?

If it is with any frequency, they would understand that restricting access to Birnie Road, at Highway 97, to right-in, right-out movements is completely illogical.

Obviously this plan is a reaction to high-risk left-turns at the intersection, but all right-in-right-outs would do is force motorists leaving the landfill down the highway to Highridge and Bailey roads. From there they can  use Commonage Road to go back into Vernon, but that isn’t an effective  option for residents of Coldstream or parts of the city.

What is more likely to happen is motorists making left-turns at Bailey Road to head back home or attempting illegal turns on the highway where possible. Safety will be put at risk.

Also, the ministry plan will generate more time on the road for commercial waste haulers. That will mean less time fulfilling contracts, as well as adding to fuel costs.

The Regional District of North Okanagan opposes the ministry concept and has come up with a viable alternative, a one-way bridge across the highway that would allow traffic on Birnie Road to re-enter the highway and head north. It’s practical and the best part is RDNO is willing to be a financial partner through tipping fees.

RDNO is demanding a meeting with the ministry, and let’s hope those representatives come with an open mind.

If not, the government’s plans for Birnie Road will do nothing to improve safety on Highway 97.