Updated plan for Stickle Road widely panned
VERNON – It’s often unusual to get government and local consensus on anything. However, there seems to be widespread agreement that the intersection of Stickle Rd. and Highway 97 north of Vernon is dangerous and needs to be fixed. But locals and provincial government officials can’t seem to agree on how to fix the problem.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s original proposal was widely panned. They went back to the drawing board but a new plan is also facing a lot of criticism.
“It doesn’t sound like they really listened to us,” says Pat Leohndorf, general manager of Bannister Honda.
The updated plan calls for a protected T-intersection. Compared to the old plan, this would increase access to the highway. However, traffic coming out on the RV Park side of Stickle Rd. won’t be able to turn left onto the highway. You can view an outline of the updated plan here.
“We really truly feel there still should be a light,” says Leohndorf. “We want it controlled where people are not going to have to second guess at all.”
The reworked proposal has also attracted criticism from City Hall.
“The proposal itself is better than the one we were first given but at the same time I do not think it is the right plan,” says Vernon’s mayor Akbal Mund. “I still believe that a traffic light is the ultimate decision that we should be making.”
But the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says this is not a good location for a traffic light and may not help make the intersection safer.
“A signal when it is cycling causes traffic to queue and build up and that creates the opportunity for further conflict,” says ministry spokesperson Murray Tekano.
Leohndorf and others worried about the proposal will have another chance to weigh in. The ministry is planning another open house later this month and hopes to start construction in 2016.