Lake hears roundabout worries

'Ed's pretty concerned. He made some valid comments about how it could be dangerous'

Kamloops Daily News
November 16, 2012 01:00 AM

An example of a highway roundabout in Ontario.

A Clearwater trucking company owner says she's encouraged there will be second thought given to a highway roundabout in her community after she and her husband met with MLA Terry Lake.

Andrea Lenny said the meeting, held in Lake's office Wednesday afternoon, was a good half-hour long. She presented him with a 468-name petition objecting to the roundabout that's on the brink of being built.

"He listened to all of our concerns. He and Ed (her husband) discussed safety concerns and traffic flow," she said Thursday.

"Ed's pretty concerned. He made some valid comments about how it could be dangerous. And also that everybody needs more information about it."

There was a community meeting about the roundabout last March, but by fall there was a growing swell of concern in the community.

Lenny said other options, such as smart lights that are activated when someone needs to cross the highway were discussed.

"I would say we're cautiously optimistic that the project will be re-evaluated," she said.

Residents agree something needs to be done to improve safety at the highway intersection. But truckers feel the roundabout will be dangerous to navigate - or even see, especially in winter when it's covered in snow.

"Truckers don't mind stopping. They stop everywhere," she said.

Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Lake said the Transportation Ministry is meeting with the heavy haulers from the B.C. trucking association next week.

He will be passing on Lenny's husband's concerns about the design of the roundabout and the couple's other points.

"Maybe we need another public meeting up there so I can be there. I need to talk to mayor and council as well. I haven't had a chance to talk to our transportation people about it yet," he said.

Whether the project can be halted, however, he didn't know.

"We may be too far down the track but if there are concerns from truckers, we need to address those."

Lake said about 20 per cent of the 80 or so people who attended the March public meeting were opposed to the roundabout. But the majority of those who signed Lenny's petition were from Clearwater.

"It shows we need to do more public engagement on this."

B.C. has about 20 roundabouts on provincial highways and they're commonly used in Europe, he said.

"Roundabouts are seen as a way to slow traffic without coming to a stop. It's the safest way to move pedestrians and bring attention to the community amenities," he said.

"But I want to be assured and assure the community this is the best decision."


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