Many residents have lost faith in the government over its handling of Stickle Road.

Many residents have lost faith in the government over its handling of Stickle Road.

EDITORIAL: Stickle Road creates public distrust

It will be interesting to see if there are repercussions for the government leading up to May’s election.

The Ministry of Transportation has made it abundantly clear that it’s moving on.

On Tuesday, the agency announced it is proceeding with proposed safety upgrades to Stickle Road and Highway 97 and not giving in to demands from many residents that a traffic signal be installed there.

“The ministry’s design is the best option for protecting safety and it also will keep people and goods moving efficiently,” said Eric Foster, Vernon-Monashee MLA, in a release.

And time may ultimately prove the ministry and Foster right. It could be that blocking left-turns on to the highway, as well as installing acceleration and deceleration lanes, are the best way of ensuring public safety.

However, the government is misguided if it believes this issue is completely about transportation and an intersection.

As the months, if not years dragged on, the entire matter became extremely political.

Many residents felt that the government, as well as elected representatives, were ignoring them. As an example, the ministry kept coming up with other options even though input at three open houses strongly favoured a traffic signal.

Bureaucrats gave the impression that they knew best and were not interested in truly meaningful consultation with the public.

Planning for the ministry’s project is proceeding but it will be interesting to see if there are repercussions for the government leading up to May’s election.