REPORTING · 22nd October 2015
There may have been a Federal Election going on but this did not stop Kitimat City Council from meeting on Monday, October 19th. At the meeting, Kitimat Council discussed their priorities for Highway 37 within the District of Kitimat Boundaries.
Councillor Mary Murphy made a motion to inform the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure about improvements including a deceleration lane for southbound traffic into Cable Car is the highest priority.
“It seems strange to me that you would be more concerned because we clearly have a turning lane for Cable Car,” said Councillor Claire Rattee. “Wouldn’t a turning lane for the landfill be of more importance and then working for a deceleration lane for Cable Car after that be more useful. I feel like no turning lane at the landfill is kind of dangerous.”
She suggested this would be less expensive than for Cable Car. Councillor Larry Walker stated people take their time speeding up as they leave Cable Car. He suggested an acceleration lane. He proposed dropping the speed limit from Cable Car to Kitimat to 80 kilometres per hour.
Murphy stated there have been lots of near misses and two fatalities at the entrance of Cable Car. She told the Council this has been on their list of priorities every time they go to meet with the Ministers.
“I use that intersection all the time and I know that people don’t slow down. There is already a sign that we were successful in getting and it’s a suggestion of reducing your speed to 80, and nobody does it. What they do now, is when you’re turning, whether there is traffic coming or not, they fly by. This is a priority,” said Murphy.
Councillor Edwin Empinado wanted reports on near misses.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff expressed he was pleased the Kitimat Village Road was going ahead in the fall. He was in support of the priority setting and they needed to be consistent with the government. He said they will look at a number of things which could be done at the entrance to Cable Car including a deceleration lane.
CAO Warren Waycheshen explained the landfill is a good project, but the entrance to Cablecar has been on the books longer. Councillor Murphy pointed out there is an 80 Kilometre speed limit but it is a suggestion and is not enforced.
Rattee asked if there were any fatalities at the landfill or anything which would warrant it being fixed. Waycheshen replied by saying it was not something which came out of the conversation with the Ministry of Transportation or Infrastructure.
“Cable Car has certainly been on the priority for Council for over a decade. I believe it still warrants that,” said District of Kitimat Engineer Tim Gleig. “There is still a left hand lane into Cable Car. What happens is people coming back from the north, anybody slows down, there has been an eye witness, myself, near misses where somebody behind that vehicle pulls left. It’s illegal, going across a hatched out are, and then see there is someone either in or pulling into the left turn lane into Cable Car.”
He said if there is only money for one project, it should be for a deceleration lane. On the landfill, Gleig stated people who pass there are coming from the town side, and most of them pass on the shoulder of the road.
Goffinet agreed with Walker, stating there is a need for an acceleration lane. The motion was called and carried with one Councillor opposed.
Comment by mmurphy on 28th October 2015
Mike, you are correct many improvements are needed on sidewalks and roads within the municipality, and that is our responsibility. over the last four years this issues has been addressed with the minister of highways, with a commitment from the minister of transportation to improve not only the entrance to cable car, but also the landfill, Hirsch creek park, and the cemetery. Not sure why this was placed as a recommendation by staff but I do not mind supporting this motion. The highway is the responsibility of the ministry of highways and not the municipality….up to the four way stop at the entrance into the community. “ It is the responsibility of the ministry of highways and not the municipality”. These and other issues were passed onto to council Germuth and myself when we first became councillors by a concerned citizen in the cable car. Call me dedicated to the area I live in, also dedicated to many other areas including improvement of roads and sidewalks within the municipal boundaries. I am always open to communication and clarification if you contact me. Thanks, Mary
Cable Car Families
Comment by Carol on 24th October 2015
There are almost 200 lots in Cable Car which probably amounts to approximately 400 people more or less, some with children and some with none. Probably most residents have 2 vehicles. Then there is the traffic in the summer with drift boats coming and going in the summer. Some like to come out from town to the Kitimat River to enjoy the area with quads, dirt bikes, camp, hike and fish. Some bicycle out this way. I would think the Cable Car subdivision has a busier intersection than the dump.....not to say that there could be a better intersection there also. My concern is that if there is another lane for those coming from Terrace it won't change the bad habits of those that just don't slow down. Changing the speed limit from the Snowflake to town and have the RCMP monitor it more frequently would certainly help
My two cents
Comment by Vern on 24th October 2015
As a first step I would think reducing the speed limit from the snowflake sign into town to 80, cutting back the trees to improve sight lines at the turnoff into both the Dump and Cable Car and a marked crosswalk with lights at Cable Car to allow people on horseback or others cross the road in a safe manner.
Cable Car Intersection
Comment by Carol on 23rd October 2015
Speed is the problem with passing vehicles.
People passing on the side of the road.
Check the drivers manual....the yellow margins are not to be driven on....yet drivers are forced to use them when slowing down to turn into Cable Car from the south.
Perhaps a flashing speed sign like on the cemetery hill might wake up drivers driving beyond the speed limit.
Some drivers are not driving with patience and due care....what's the hurry slow down and drive the appropriate speed to the situation.
Cable Car deceleration
Comment by Mike on 22nd October 2015
The problem is not the speed it is the cable car residents not using due care while turning into cable car or entering the highway. The landfill should take priority over cable car hands down! Council should educate the cable car resident drivers as to how to exercise due care in their driving habits. Mary take a good look at the roads and sidewalks in Kitimat and recommend improvements for everyone to enjoy and do not put your self serving interests above the citizens of kitimat because you happen to use cable car entrance.
Comment by Carol on 22nd October 2015
There are a lot more people using the Cable Car turn off than at the dump. The dump is only open certain hours...Cable Car is open 24/7 plus we have young people on horses, dirt bikes and quads using this area. To change the speed limit to 80 km from where the snowflake sign to Kitimat would be ideal. Go into Terrace, Prince Rupert or Smithers and one has to slow for several miles before entering town. Why do some people have to be such reckless and irresponsible drivers..Slow Down and make sure you will make your destination. Perhaps more monitoring by the R.C.M.P. would help.