The current plan for Stickle Road and Highway 97 north of Vernon could be scrapped if the NDP candidate wins on May 9th.
Barry Dorval issued a news release Friday, saying he would like to see other solutions looked at by the Ministry of Transportation, like lowering the speed limit in conjunction with a traffic light, or a roundabout.
“When I looked at the report, it seemed like there had been only two options considered. One was just a traffic light with existing speed limits and then this alternate route, ” Dorval said on Kiss FM’s candidates forum this week.
Based on talks with people, Dorval wants to put the brakes on the plan.
“It’s time to go back and do this again.It’s been a bad solution. Above all we need real community consultation, not a process where someone comes in to tell us what they’ve already decided for us,” says Dorval.
Liberal MLA Eric Foster says the plan to provide an alternate route instead of a light is the safest, according to ministry and outside engineering experts.
“The probability of reducing accidents with a traffic light was 5 percent, while with an alternate route it was 20 percent. The proposal that is moving forward is the one that is the safest and protects people’s lives,” Foster told the radio forum.
Another option being put forward is for a roundabout which Green candidate Keli Westgate would like to see looked into.
“A traffic light seems like the cheapest, easiest option but there are many opportunities to have accidents when there is a light there. This for me is not only about the safety of motorists, but how about pedestrians and bikers? There is no safe way for people, not in a car, to get across that highway,” says Westgate.
Don Jefcoat from the Libertarian Party says if he becomes the new MLA, he says he would be an irritant to the Ministry of Transportation.
“The residents and business owners in that area were vocal with the solution they wanted. This solution is workable with some adjustments to speed limits adjustment and signage. The Ministry had no right giving an outright no. They should have taken the concerns of the locals seriously,” Jefcoat tells Kiss FM. “I will also make it practice that public input sessions in the future are not a formality, and that concerns are addressed.”