Residents of a Lake Country condominium complex are asking district council to instigate traffic safety measures for what they feel is a dangerous roundabout intersection at Bottom Wood Lake Road and Lodge Road.
The residents of the 15-unit Aspen View complex say transport truck traffic accessing the roundabout off Highway 97 from Lodge present a turning hazard while Bottom Wood Lake Road north-south traffic often drives too fast through the roundabout because there is a no speed impediment.
Sharon Andreassen spoke to Lake Country council last week about the issue on behalf of the Aspen View residents.
Andreassen said the roundabout accident near-misses are almost a daily occurrence, noting that she and her neighbours carried out a traffic count over a 10-day period in June between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.
One example she gave was on a Tuesday between 3 and 3:30 p.m., as the roundabout vehicle use added up to 389 cars, 12 commercial vehicles, two truck trailers and motorhomes, seven dump trucks, four motorcycles, eight buses, six bicycles and seven pedestrians.
“There is signage posted that clearly states to travel at 20 km/hr through the roundabout but people either don’t see it or are ignoring the signage,” Andreassen said.
She said the Aspen View residents are asking for an increased RCMP traffic control presence and for large transport trucks being restricted from using the roundabout. They also want to inquire about the dump truck traffic moving excess landfill material from the Lakestone housing development to a site on Herbert Rd. through the intersection.
“They are permitted to transfer 20,000 cubic metres of material from Lakestone to Herbert but we are wondering what controls are in place on that,” Andreassen asked.
She said the design of the roundabout doesn’t allow adequate space for transport trucks to turn, and those trucks are approaching the intersection from a steep road decline after turning off Highway 97.
“We are not against progress, we just want to see the safety standards for that roundabout enhanced,” she said.
Greg Buchholz, director of infrastructure services for Lake Country, told district council the roundabout does have heavy traffic volumes but is functioning as was intended.
Buchholz said there have been past complaints, however, about the intersection which prompted the district to have safety review carried out by ICBC traffic safety experts.
He said the roundabout configuration is ideal but there were budget limitations when it was constructed which created the need to make some compromises on the design.
“Speeding is a continual complaint and we have done our best to try and mitigate that but there’s not much more we can do,” Buchholz said.
The $1.5 million roundabout was built in 2012, with a major thrust behind the initiative being the 2010 death of a 15-year-old girl who was walking alone along Bottom Wood Lake Road when she was struck by a vehicle.
At the time, the roundabout was seen as improving safety for pedestrians, cyclists, transit and vehicle traffic, but Andreassen argues that has not been the end result.
“The school is nearby and a new middle school will be coming to the area as well so I am thinking about the safety of my grandchildren using theroundabout’s pedestrian walkways,” she said.
“We’ve done our homework, the traffic statistics back up what we are saying and we have provided photos as well. I am hoping the district takes us seriously about this.”
District staff have been asked to review the traffic situation and safety concerns about the roundabout and report back to council.