Motorists on Bev McLachlin Drive and Canyon Drive will soon notice new road signs encouraging them to slow down.
Pincher Creek council made the decision to install yellow diamond signs on both roads indicating the direction of the curve with a suggested speed limit of 30 kilometres an hour. The signs will be placed for both traffic directions on Bev McLachlin Drive as the road curves near Dundas Street and on Canyon Drive just west of Beaver Drive.
The decision comes just a month after Pincher Creek resident Judy Lane presented at the May 25 council meeting as a delegation for the third time. Ms. Lane requested something be done to mitigate the risk of drivers drifting out of their lane at the curve on Bev McLachlin Drive and had suggested painting a yellow centre line.
A decision was postponed in order for ISL Engineering and Land Services to study the condition of both roads and submit a report with its recommendations.
ISL ultimately said a centre line at either road would increase the likelihood of sideswiping parked cars since both roads are narrow. The traffic volume at each location, the report added, did “not warrant long sections of directional dividing lines.”
The town does not have any recorded instances of vehicle collisions at either location.
While agreeing with the signage, Coun. Mark Barber said the speed reduction should be mandatory and enforced with tickets.
“Those are two very dangerous corners, as brought to our attention on a few occasions, and just recommending that people slow down to 30 I don’t know would be appropriate,” he said. “I’d like to see that formalized.”
Yellow traffic signs, replied Alexa Levair, the town’s capital project and asset co-ordinator, only indicate recommended speeds while white signs show mandatory speeds that are enforceable. Requiring a speed change at either location would change where the signs are placed and include additional signs designating where the speed limit returns to 50 kilometres an hour, she added.
Should council want to make the speed change enforceable, placing the signs would be delayed as the engineers would need to be consulted again, Ms. Levair continued.
“If you guys did want to proceed with a white speed limit signage indicating that it goes down to 30, that would need a revision to the report,” she said.
Making the speed change enforceable by law would also stretch the town’s single peace officer, said chief administrative officer Laurie Wilgosh.
“The fact that we have one peace officer looking after the Village of Cowley, the MD of Pincher Creek and some of their bylaws, and the Town of Pincher Creek — I’m not sure that it will be effective if it’s not enforced, and I don’t know his capacity to enforce it,” CAO Wilgosh said.
“It’s not a playground zone, and I would rather our resources be directed to enforce traffic enforcement in playgrounds instead of just a traffic zone,” added Coun. Scott Korbett.
The signs are expected to be installed sometime next week and will cost between $1,500 and $2,000. The funds will come from the 2021 streets operating budget.
Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze