Letter writer Rod Retzlaff states that replacing the traffic light with a roundabout would result in slightly slower moving traffic, but no stopped traffic. File photo

LETTER: Replace the South Slocan traffic light with a roundabout

Accident victim pleads for a change at intersection

I recently had to pull out on to Highway 3A at South Slocan. It took a lot of waiting, to no avail, and in the end, a quick and risky jolt out on to the Highway. If I lacked the courage to make that high speed spurt, I would likely still be there now waiting for a safe opportunity.

The people doing the planning on our local highways profoundly misunderstand the kind of roads that our local population would like to see established. My wife and children were the last vehicle to be T-boned at the Slocan valley junction, when it was still an uncontrolled intersection. After that accident, in which, luckily, no one was killed, they decided to install a traffic light at that intersection. That was a bad decision. A traffic light to stop traffic on a high speed highway is not a reliable safety feature, and serves, mostly, to aggravate drivers from all directions. In addition the prevalent accident at such intersections is a T-bone accident, the most deadly kind. A traffic circle, or roundabout, would do a much better job of protecting the public, virtually eliminating the possibility of T-bones, and slowing the traffic down to a little closer to the speed limit. At present the only thing rarer than a driver doing the speed limit on Highway 3A is a cop car handing out a ticket.

All our intersections on this highway are becoming quite dangerous, yet the local planners refuse to change to a safer system. I believe our valley would be far more liveable, and safer if we built a roundabout at South Slocan, the Slocan valley junction, and the Glade turnoff. The result would be slightly slower moving traffic, but no stopped traffic, and no more sitting at a red light, like the village idiot waiting, for it to change. The lack of reliance on electricity would be the cherry on top.

While I’m on the topic, when are our local planners going to establish some crosswalks in Crescent Valley? There is a lot of pedestrian traffic there, yet pedestrians are expected to dart back and forth across the highway in between the speeding vehicles to access the beach or the stores. What’s it going to take, a couple of pedestrian fatalities?

Our local highway planners don’t think our local people are smart enough to figure out how to drive around a roundabout. I have far more faith in us. Other jurisdictions are establishing traffic circles, when are our local planners going to emerge from the cave?

Rod Retzlaff

Glade, B.C.

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