LETTER: Support for two-way High Street

From reader John Fleming

I am writing to express my support of leaving High Street with its current two-way traffic pattern.

Many times there are delays on Highway 3A due to heavy traffic or road work, and High Street offers the only viable alternative. During the summer of 2020, the highway is scheduled for repaving, which will affect traffic well into August. An alternative route will be necessary during this paving program and afterwards.

The city campground on High Street requires access from both directions due to the maneuverability of some RV’s and the tight entry and exit from the campground. This is particularly true for longer trailers and motor homes. I don’t know for a fact, but I suspect many of the homeowners along High Street appreciate the ability to access their homes from either direction.

As a cyclist who rides 12 months of the year, and most days utilizing High Street, I can say that I feel very safe riding with the current layout. There are a couple of tight spots with blind corners where bicycles need to be careful. As I enter High Street from Vernon Street on the way to Fairview, I will sometimes find that vehicle traffic catches up behind me. I simply pull over at the entrance to High Street Place, often getting a friendly wave from motorists for letting them pass. Once traffic is clear I continue on my way.

The current speed limit of 30km/h is adequate to accommodate motorists and bicycles. Speed bumps are not required. If the speed limit is not being adhered to, then periodic enforcement is needed, not physical deterrents.

Most of Nelson’s streets are simply not wide enough to start building designated/physically separate bike routes at this late date. If there were more options for motorists to get around town in an efficient manner, I might support the idea of creating a designated bike lane and one-way traffic. With our current choice of roads to get from Fairview to downtown, this option does not exist and restricting flow along High Street may just create more problems than it solves.

John Fleming


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