City And MLA Clash Over Local Transportation Plan
It appears City Council and the MLA for Cariboo North are not on the same page when it comes to traffic safety in the Quesnel area.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, with 300 thousand dollars from the City courtesy of the Transportation Minister, conducted a study to find ways to improve safety and traffic flow along Highway 97 from city limit to city limit.
The data was presented to Council and the MLA in April of 2016 and, from the city’s perspective, nothing has happened since then.
In the meantime, City Councillor Scott Elliott says three people have been killed…
“When we look at easy fixes like traffic flow on Carson street and getting the flow through our city, the traffic lights on Front Street or where people are dying at Aroma and Franks Supermarkets, those things should be fixed immediately.”
Elliott says a number of projects within the city have also been stalled and he says nothing can be done without the province on board…
“Unfortunately our MLA is still talking about a bypass or an alternate truck route and they’ve just told us its not in the 10 year financial plan and we have to move on some of these safety issues.”
Mayor Bob Simpson noted that a bypass or truck route has been talked about for 60 years and if it ever does happen it will be a long term gain..
“Two Ministers of Transportation who were representatives of this area failed to deliver a bypass and we have a current minister that in her four year mandate didn’t get anything in the 10-year transportation strategy that says we are getting a bypass. Irrespective of that, a bypass is not a 4-lane rerouting of Highway 97 past the city. It is simply an alternate route particularly aimed at trucks. Highway 97 will continue to go through the city, so the city’s position is let’s get it improved.”
Council voted unanimously to send a letter to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to get the project back on track and to take immediate steps to improve the safety of Highway 97 through the city.