Petition aims to stop highway roundabout

Truckers don't want to have to slow down through Clearwater

Michele Young / Kamloops Daily News
November 7, 2012 01:00 AM

A Clearwater trucking company is spearheading a petition to stop a roundabout from being built in the middle of Highway 5.

Andrea Lenny said Wednesday she's put petitions in several businesses in Clearwater, Vavenby and Blue River, and is looking to get permission to drop them off at some of the travel centres in Kamloops.

The petition objects to the creation of a traffic roundabout on Highway 5 at the intersection with Clearwater Valley Road and calls for a referendum.

Lenny, who runs Comrie Transport in Clearwater with her husband, said they have five logging trucks.

She said other truckers are also opposed to the change, which would force trucks to slow down to navigate the roundabout.

"The public and everyone has been so upset about this but no one's been galvanized to do anything," she said.

So she and her husband put out the petition a week ago. Some businesses are reporting up to 100 names collected, she said.

Her husband is also meeting with Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake on Nov. 14.

Lenny agreed the intersection has safety issues, but she felt most of the accidents that have occurred were the result of people trying to cross and making bad decisions.

"We all agree there's a problem. But we don't think bottlenecking the traffic, especially the big trucks, is the answer," she said.

"We want lights. Simple as that. There's already power there. They have blinking lights for school kids to cross."

The project was put to the residents in March at an open house. But when it went to the district council in August and got the go-ahead, residents were surprised, she said.

Not everyone agrees about the lights, said Mayor John Harwood.

The intersection is at a hill, and if there were lights, trucks would have to stop on a slope, he said.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure didn't offer lights as an alternative, he added.

The project has gone out for bids and some of the work has already begun, he said.

"As far as we're concerned, it's a done deal. The road's already dug up. We're in the process of putting in larger water mains before highways comes in," said Harwood.

"Council had a couple of concerns. One specific one is the speeding that goes on on that main highway. This will definitely slow traffic down."

The majority of people who have contacted him have been in favour of the roundabout, he said. But he added that he's never done a project that didn't have some opposition.

"It's an issue of spending money irresponsibly. And it's all of our money, it's B.C.'s money," said Lenny.

"There are so many reasons not to do it - financially and it's going to be a hazard. We have five logging trucks. Each one will go past there five times a day. Everybody who uses this highway on a regular basis, it's going to affect them."

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