Intersection concerns

Highway 97 and Bailey Road improvements won't make intersection safer

Richard Rolke’s recent article in The Morning Star and comments by Predator Ridge resident Bruce Roberts give high praise to the Ministry of Transportation for steps taken and the upgrades on Highway 97 at Bailey Road.

I too, like Mr. Roberts, travel this section of the highway on a regular basis and fail to see how the few changes made will make this intersection much safer.

Despite the speed indication signs, which often are out of service and can present an additional distraction, traffic does not appear to have slowed. According to RCMP the intersection and the road in the vicinity has seen 75 crashes in the last five years, including 16 fatalities since 1968.

The major problem, as pointed out by Vernon councillor Jack Gilroy, after a recent fatality, is for vehicles making left turns and the recent upgrade has done very little to address this issue.

The proper response to the danger would have been to install an overpass or perhaps an underpass as seen constructed recently on Highway 97 at the Otter Lake Cross Road junction.

With the addition of the Sparkling Hill Resort, continuing resort and residential housing growth at Predator Ridge and increasing numbers of motorists now using a paved Commonage Road, this intersection requires more than a little widening, a bit of pavement and a few signs.

So I give thanks and praise to the victim’s family for their efforts at bringing about change but hopefully the Ministry of Highways will take the much needed bigger step to reduce accidents, injuries and fatalities on this dangerous section of the highway.

 

David Facey, Vernon