EDITORIAL: White flag raised at Stickle Road

While trying to find a compromise is understandable, is it truly the best move for the residents?

It comes as no surprise that Vernon’s mayor is looking to end the dispute with the Ministry of Transportation over Stickle Road and Highway 97.

After all, the ministry continues to insist that calls for a traffic signal at the dangerous intersection are ill-advised and other options for moving vehicles must be considered.

“They aren’t giving us a light or reducing the speed on the highway so we have to work with them,” said Akbal Mund.

“Sometimes you have to come to a compromise instead of fighting.”

And obviously ongoing conflicts are not ideal, but there is a difference between standing up for the interests of residents and waving the white flag.

Yes, the ministry’s proposal to extend 20th Street from Rona to Vernon Volkswagen would provide an alternate route for residents moving between Stickle Road and the city, and reduce the amount of traffic trying to turn left on to the highway.

However, the proposal doesn’t take care of all of the outstanding safety concerns.

Specifically, it won’t slow down the vehicles on the highway that are currently speeding towards the overpass and more dense traffic at 48th Avenue. A signal at Stickle Road would do this.

While a 20th Street extension would benefit motorists on the east side of Stickle Road, what about on the west side where the RV park is? How will people pulling holiday trailers safely navigate on to the highway, particularly if they are turning left to go towards Armstrong?

A 20th Street extension will also potentially create challenges for the large transport trucks accessing the businesses on Stickle Road and needing to use the highway to get to their next destination.

So while trying to find a compromise with the ministry is understandable, is it truly the best move for the residents of the North Okanagan?