REPORTING · 9th January 2012
The Kitamaat Village road is known for its ups and downs, its twists and turns. It has not been a safe winter for people traveling to and from Kitamaat Village.
People who travel those roads daily have expressed some concern with the level of service these roads receive in the winter time.
According to one source, the roads are at their worst in the evenings because of black ice. The road looks sleek so motorists believe the snow removal trucks have already gone over it.
He expressed only seeing the snow removal services of Nechako North Coast, whom we were informed, remove the snow from the Kitamaat Village Road, during the good days and not during the snow fall.
There have been at least three accidents on road during the winter months. We were told one involved a taxi cab while one was a lot more serious. The local ambulance service attended two of these accidents.
“A big Concern for us is the condition of the highways, period on that matter. Some times they’re good, sometimes there bad, it’s really hit or miss,” said Fire Chief Trent Bossence.
However, there could be others where people were helped by other motorists and the ambulances were not involved. He contributed these accidents to people driving too fast for the road conditions.
However, the last couple of times they have traveled to the village while it is snowing, the roads were not in good condition.
“To me, it’s unacceptable when we drive code three to an emergency to the village and can only reach speeds of thirty kilometres,” said Bossence. “When our roads aren’t getting looked after, our speed is drastically reduced to get there.”
In this case, they have to turn the flashing lights off because it could be a hazard to people pulling off the road. A code three is a full emergency where they have to get there as quickly and safely as they can.
We tried to get in touch with Nechako North Coast concerning how often they remove snow from the highway and the Kitamaat Village Road but they have been unable to get back to us.
The Joint Review Panel hearing takes place at the Kitamaat Village Recreation Centre on Tuesday, January 10th, and Wednesday, January 11th, starting at 9:00 am. Cold weather and/or snow, have been forecast for both days.
Public transportation on the Communities bus service to Kitamaat Village leaves the front of the City Centre Mall at 9:50 am, 2:30 pm and 6:30 pm. The bus back to Kitimat departs from Jassee St and Kitamaat Village Road at 10:20 am, 3:00 pm and 7:20 pm.
As the Joint Review Panel Process is important to the future of this community, we would like to see everyone get their safely.
Haisla Community member
Comment by Nina Shaw on 14th January 2012
While it is good to see that someone has finally taken an interest to address the unsafe road conditions we the Haisla people have to travel on I would like to comment on one sentence of people travelling too fast on the road to the Village.
While this may be so for some people, the majority of the Haisla people know when to reduce their speed limit during the winter months and the few people that were in the car accidents was due to black ice or the road not being plowed, not driving fast.
I had travelled the road to Kitimat town where the road had not been plowed and it had been snowing all day. There was no sign that the road had been cleared as we had to follow the tire tracks of other vehicles that were ahead of us.
I worry that one day the emergency vehicles may not arrive to the Village as quickly as they need to due to our Road not been plowed.
There have been numerous Haisla community members phoning the Nechako Northcoast and to date some have still not received a call back from whomever was supposed to return our calls.