The vast majority of the letters to the editor in this publication, regarding traffic dangers at Stickle Road/Highway 97, appear to be in favour of reducing the speed limit past Stickle Road northbound, and installing traffic lights at the intersection.
A large number of writers have pointed out the use of lights in other high-traffic locations: in Greater Vernon, at the college, 48th Avenue, 15th Street, and Aberdeen Road; and also nearby in Armstrong, Enderby, Salmon Arm, Kamloops, Lake Country and Kelowna.
Reduced expense, greater safety, and no material disruption of traffic flow are all given as reasons for the traffic light solution.
Writers also point out the dangers, expense, and environmental insensitivity in creating increased traffic flow across a natural wetland sanctuary.
Note that the last local road improvement over wetlands – the Highway 97 overpass – is constantly shifting and sinking, and requires ongoing repairs.
Perhaps transportation ministry officials should also note that on their 80-kilometre-per-hour overpass, their own staff have installed, “Slow To 70” safety warning signs.
Six of the seven members of Vernon city council have also voiced objection to the ministry’s expensive traffic rerouting scheme, and seem to be in favour of some type of mechanical traffic control.
They appear to be ignored by our mayor.
In a democratic jurisdiction such as ours, why then, are Mayor Akbal Mund, regional director Bob Fleming and MLA Eric Foster ignoring the wishes of their electorate, and our local councillors, in favour of an expensive, ill-conceived and disruptive system of lanes, barriers and berms?
Granted, this highway intersection is outside city regulation, but is part of what we all appreciate to be Greater Vernon, and therefore shouldn’t our paid provincial employees — that is, highways staff — and our elected officials be listening to those people who put and keep them in office?
We citizens, via our elected officials, should be directing provincial employees, not the other way around.
If government leaders and employees do not follow the will of the people, I suggest democracy in the City of Vernon, the North Okanagan and our area of the province of B.C. has failed, and we should remove these autocrats with our votes at the next provincial and municipal elections.