The Town of Beaverlodge will lobby Alberta Transportation to reduce the speed limit on Hwy. 722 from UFA to Foster’s Agri-World.
Council voted in favour of Coun. Gena Jones’ motion to send a letter to the ministry during its regular meeting last week.
“We feel the traffic is going too fast at the intersections, between (UFA) and Fosters,” said mayor Gary Rycroft.
The limit on Hwy. 722 is currently 80 kilometres per hour and council’s request is 60 km/h, said Tina Letendre, acting chief administrative officer.
“I’ve always thought it was a bit too fast, and about 60 kilometres would be preferable, in my opinion,” Rycroft said.
“In my experience, 50 might be too slow as it is a fairly wide-open road.”
Rycroft said an insurance agency recently approached the town regarding accidents on Hwy. 722 over the past few months.
The insurance agency noted the accidents and approached the town out of concern for public safety, he said.
“It’s been a pattern that’s growing over the past few years,” Rycroft said.
He said in the past few years he’s observed a few minor accidents, including fender benders.
Most of the accidents have taken place at the intersection of Hwy. 722 and 3rd St. near UFA, he said. The speed limit on 3rd St. is 70 km/h.
Letendre said the town wasn’t provided statistics on accidents in the area.
Highway speed reduction can benefit motorists leaving Foster’s or UFA, Rycroft said.
“If the traffic on 722 is going slower and you’re at the stop sign, you have a better opportunity to get on the road and to judge what traffic is doing,” he said.
He also said there are other intersections on this portion of the highway, making the current speed limit too high.
During Monday’s meeting council contemplated a motion to reduce the speed on 3rd St., which runs between Hwy. 43 to the UFA corner on Hwy. 722, to match a lower limit on Hwy. 722.
However, Coun. Hugh Graw said council should hold off on that motion until Alberta Transportation makes a decision on the limit change for Hwy. 722.
If Alberta Transportation lowers Hwy. 722’s limit to 70 km/h rather than the requested 60, 3rd St. should also remain at 70, he said.
Alberta Transportation is responsible for determining speed limits and Rycroft said all the town can do is submit a request for the provincial government’s consideration.
Council has never approached Alberta Transportation on this issue before and the ministry will need to evaluate the request, Rycroft said.
Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News