Rambling man returns to roundabout debate

I’d like to thank Patrick Stanley for asking for my input and insight

Editor, The Times

Re: Citizens of Clearwater have been duped (Dec. 6 issue of the Times)

I’ll start by saying that this letter is also going to the offices of MLA Terry Lake and Premier Christy Clark.

Due to circumstances beyond my control, “I’m back”. I’d like to thank Patrick Stanley for asking for my input and insight on this matter. Patrick doesn’t want to point fingers, but I do. I’d also like to thank all the people who have encouraged me to carry on with my letters. My survey has shown that 67 per cent of people were in favour of my opinions. However, that is not a scientific survey, but neither was the 67 per cent in favour of the roundabout. Oh yeah! That’s where I saw that number before!

It is my opinion that we need a stop work order on this project and also a public inquiry as to what has transpired. A lot of questions need to be answered. I will mention only a few because of limited space.

On Sept. 6, 2012, the Kamloops Daily News reported that: “Clearwater acting Mayor Jon Kreke said the roundabout was chosen after the Ministry of Transportation told the municipality that the province no longer places new traffic lights on numbered highways. ‘That’s what we’ve been led to believe,’ Kreke said. ‘So what is the best option? This is the best option.’” My question, Jon, is who from Highways told you that, or was that information from the previous council and you were brought up to speed?

On Sept. 13, 2012, in the Times, councillor Ken Kjenstad was quoted as saying that the Provincial Truckers Association told him their members would have no problem negotiating a roundabout as proposed. My question to Ken is who did you talk to at the truckers association?

On Sept. 6, 2012, at the public meeting at Clearwater Lodge, councillor Shelley Sim asked if it was true that the Ministry will no longer build traffic lights on numbered highways. Shelley, did you hear this from a Highways rep. or were you brought up to speed by the previous council?

At the same meeting, councillor Kjenstad and administrator Leslie Groulx both stated that Highways no longer installs traffic lights at numbered highway intersections. Who at the MoT told you that?

In the Sept. l3, 2012, issue of the Times, Rick Blixrud, assistant regional director with the MoT, was asked if it was true that the Ministry of Transportation no longer builds traffic lights on numbered highways? His answer was, “As to signals, the Ministry applies engineering appropriate treatments at intersections as required. This includes signalized treatments where required by the size situation. So, yes, we still do install signals to manage traffic in many locations.” This seems to contradict the statements made by Mr. Kjenstad and Mrs. Groulx.

With all the hype about how good and safe the roundabout will be, let’s look closely at the intersection in question. Presently it has left turn lanes, right turn merges, and a pedestrian crosswalk with a light. The cost of changing the lights so they turn red when pedestrians hit the button would be minimal. In comparison, the cost of the roundabout plan so far is $345,000, just to change the water and sewer lines. The cost of the expropriated land has not been disclosed; as a former realtor, I would guess it is approximately $225,000. All this extravagance and the roundabout construction hasn’t even begun yet. The total so far is obviously much higher than taxpayers would have spent on light changes.

We have heard so much about the roundabout, with all the stats about how safe it will be. Since the crosswalk and light were installed years ago, how many pedestrian/vehicle accidents have occurred? Have there been any fatalities? I’m sure those making the decision had all that information before they were prepared to spend approximately $2.2 million dollars of taxpayers’ money!

To Christy Clark and Terry Lake, if you choose to ignore this letter, I can almost certainly predict what will happen. In the middle of the roundabout will be a huge bronze statue of a jackass, all decked out like a race horse. Its jockey will be holding a sign saying: “Welcome to Wells Gray Country”, and he will look very much like Terry Lake and, oh my goodness, look at his shirt! Number “67 (per cent)”!

Jim Lamberton

The Rambling Man

 

Clearwater, B.C.

 

 

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