Bragg Creek residents are raising concerns about the hamlet’s infamous four-way stop that has traffic stretching for kilometres in every direction.
“It has been an issue for oh, I would say easily over a decade, if not longer,” said Mark Kamachi, a Rocky View County councillor, on Sunday.
“It’s not like it’s constant but it’s enough that it’s a real aggravation to not only visitors and tourists but for locals as well, getting in the town because it is the only intersection in and out of town.”
Resident Brian Hodgkins said there is a lot of honking in the congested area.
“The locals know enough not to go out at certain times because they won’t make it back. Two weekends ago, the southbound traffic on Highway 22 was backed up to Redwood Meadows,” Hodgkins said.
Kamachi doesn’t want there to have to be an accident for the Alberta government to take action.
“People are experiencing a lot of bad drivers, cutting each other off, pulling U-turns, going to different, opposite directions, people running along the side of the road where pedestrians and bikers are supposed to be,” Kamachi said.
“So again, a lot of frustration and a lot of stupid moves, and sadly, somebody’s going to get hurt.”
While the hamlet is happy to welcome visitors, Kamachi is worried the problem could ultimately drive people away.
“People aren’t going to come back if it’s too hard to get in and out of town,” Kamachi said.
In the meantime, residents said they would like to see flaggers or temporary street lights put up in an effort to manage the lineup.
“If you look at other places that have summer traffic levels approaching Bragg Creek or maybe even greater, they have flag people in place,” Hodgkins said.
“Lake Louise, for one, has flag people in there on the weekend to keep the traffic moving… So there needs to be a short-term solution and there needs to be a long-term solution.”
No firm fix timeline
A provincial plan to fix the problem with a roundabout has no firm timeline.
“The roundabout in Bragg Creek is currently in the design phase and has not been finalized,” read a statement from the office of Transportation Minister Ric McIver.
“We’re aware of traffic congestion in the area and are looking at interim measures including temporary traffic signals until the roundabout is complete.”
– With files from Cami Kepke