Re: Oct. 28, 2013 editorial “Carson, Toop debate” — Highway 97 to Fox Mountain Road Project.
Reducing our serious community safety concern of life and death issues to “hoopla” is very disappointing.
It is unacceptable to characterize discussion of citizens’ safety concerns in this way (many of which were clearly delivered at the Open Public Forum on Oct. 28, 2013).
Community impacts (for residents and businesses alike) have not been adequately addressed.
This was evident from replies to the questions at the forum. The reply “I don’t know” was often heard and uncertainty observed in response to questions of traffic flow, traffic numbers, sight lines, street widths, pedestrian counts, implications for schoolchildren, bicyclists, etc.
This is critical information for analysis of safety issues on the highway and city streets (a resident’s recent traffic count, for example, showed 550 vehicles passing through the Johnson Street and Western Avenue intersection in a one-hour a.m. time period).
On Sept. 24, 2013, a “Residents’ Proposal Option 3” was delivered to council, with broad-based support from the greater Williams Lake community.
More than 300 signatures were attached to this proposal.
Highway and city safety issues were major concerns for the citizens. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) staff were provided with this information.
It was clear at the forum that this proposal was given no consideration, although it provided a real, attainable alternative to the two proposed options.
It is time for sober second thought. I do not believe the community is against highway improvements, but this project needs to be done right for the citizens of Williams Lake.
City council needs to exercise leadership and take responsibility on behalf of the electorate. A full and current analysis of all options is required.
Only then should the city be voting on an option.
This project dictates that all safety issues (at the intersections on Highway 97 and city streets) be considered equally.
Ignoring safety concerns at either is unacceptable.