School District No. 46 (SD46) trustee Silas White is asking the public to help pressure the Ministry of Transportation to put some money into fixing a dangerous intersection near Gibsons Elementary School.
Through a Facebook page White set up, he is asking the public to write letters outlining their concerns with the School Road/Gibsons Way intersection and to send them either to him at silas@nightwood
editions.com or directly to the Minister of Transportation.
White said the intersection is at an “odd angle” that makes it difficult for drivers to see people crossing the road when vehicles are turning from School Road onto Gibsons Way.
During school hours, SD46 uses crossing guards to help lessen the possibility of accidents at the intersection, but White said more needs to be done and that the time is now.
“Aligning School Road differently is the opportunity we have right now because there’s money connected to the construction of the new school that can be used to change the curbing outside the school,” White said. “But the school district can only pay for the curbing outside the school, that’s really the only thing we have authority over and the only thing we can address through the regulations around financing the new school. So we need help from the Ministry of Transportation to really do a full fix of the other side as well, because you can’t just realign one side — then it will be even further out of whack.”
White believes that some public pressure could get the Ministry of Transportation to consider funding the improvements needed, so he’s encouraging residents to let the Ministry know just how dangerous the intersection is.
“I know that locally the officials who represent the Ministry realize the intersection’s a problem and I think that it’s largely a matter of local citizens letting the Ministry know how dangerous it is by sharing their experiences and their concerns,” White said.
He doesn’t know how much the fix will cost, but wants it to be considered in the next few months.
The Town of Gibsons would be on the hook for some of the bill, but director of engineering Dave Newman doesn’t know what the Town’s portion might be.
“We are working with the Ministry to determine what options are available to improve the safety for both drivers and pedestrians. Once we have established what the options are, we will be able to determine an appropriate budget for the improvements,” Newman said. “We would be seeking out funding assistance from several parties, including the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure as well as grant funding, to complete any improvements.”
In the meantime, White encourages members of the public to submit their concerns to him or to the Ministry and to make him aware of any letters sent.
“It’s helpful to let me know about them just so we can kind of coordinate things and be aware of all the different concerns and voices that are involved,” White said, noting he’d like all of the letters to be penned by Sept. 12 if possible.
Representatives of MOTI did not return phone calls by Coast Reporter’s press time.
Find out more by searching “Improve Gibsons Way/School Road Intersection!” on Facebook.
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