Not much can be done to alter traffic through Trail when the main artery is also a major connector for industrial transport.
What can be done – city council is hoping – is a reduced speed limit, especially for large trucks.
“Council expressed a general concern about the speed of not only large trucks but all vehicles,” Mayor Mike Martin told the Trail Times. “Especially on the roads passing through and exiting the downtown area, (from) Bailey Street through Glenmerry, the Teck entrance approaches and the Gulch.”
The topic reared up when Trail RCMP Sgt. Darren Oelke made a visit to the governance meeting on Monday.
“This action was prompted by Sergeant Oelke,” Martin explained. “To suggest that, as one possible means to deal with the speed of large vehicles passing through downtown Trail and the Gulch, in particular, council could consider approaching the MoTI (Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure) with a request for a lower large vehicle speed limit on the main highways passing through City of Trail boundaries.”
The first step is to engage the ministry to determine if this is a feasible alternative.
“We will be doing this immediately,” Martin clarified. “And hopefully be in a position for a more fruitful discussion with MoTI representatives when we meet on March 26.”
In the meantime, city officials asked police to step up patrols along the main drag and in certain Trail neighbourhoods.
“There was an expressed request to increase the level of enforcement,” Martin confirmed. “Not only in these areas but council also had a few other concerns that had been noted in specific residential areas.”
The BC Motor Vehicle Act establishes the basic or “statutory” speed limit on all public roads: 80 kilometres/hour (km/hr) outside municipalities and 50 km/hr within municipalities.
The province states that school speed zones of 30 km/hr are approved on a regional level. Due to the restrictive nature, a 30 km/hr speed limit can only be used on roads adjacent to where an elementary school is located and not installed on a numbered provincial highway.
Oelke was at city hall this week primarily to talk about recent fatalities on Highway 22 between Trail and Castlegar.
“On council’s request, Sergeant Oelke provided an update on council’s concerns regarding the number and seriousness of motor vehicle accidents in our area and, in particular, along Highway 22,” Martin said.
“Council was provided with a brief summary of each of the four major collisions which involved fatalities – it appeared that road conditions factored into at least one of the accidents,” he continued.
“However, personal observations of Sergeant Oelke, who drives Highway 22 each day, suggested that on some days during the winter, road conditions were not good. As a result, he requested a meeting with MoTI and Emcon representatives on Feb. 5 to express his concerns.”
As a result of internal reviews within the RCMP, there will be increased enforcement of traffic rules, such as speed and distracted driving, between Trail and Castlegar.
“As this highway is now designated as a Priority Corridor ,” Martin said. “Requiring an increased level of enforcement through the issuance of tickets.”