Is Highway 101 safer?


(This letter to B.C. Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claire Trevena was copied to Coast Reporter.)

Minister Claire Trevena:

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Re: “Trevena responds to Highway 101 concerns,” Coast Reporter, Nov. 30, 2018.

I am writing regarding your reply to concerns about Highway 101, raised by residents of the Sunshine Coast.

You have said that over the past 10 years safety on Highway 101 has improved. Is that really true?

Did you research ICBC claims, RCMP files and Capilano Highways to make this determination, or did you listen to staff who remain from the Liberal government and who for 16 years also claimed the Sunshine Coast didn’t need any improvements?

It’s strange that in 1974, the B.C. government found that we needed a bypass and surveyed and designed it. In the 1990s, half the bypass was built. Now the population has doubled, and so has the traffic, but you say we still don’t need it.

In 2006 it was decided by the Ministry of Transportation that we didn’t need so many lanes going through Upper Gibsons, so they were reduced. I suppose technically that’s safer because no one can even move during the time when a ferry has just arrived. The highway traffic can sit for 20 minutes waiting for one car to turn left. Everyone is safe because no one can move.

In the last couple of years two community groups have formed their own traffic safety committees due to their concerns over highway safety. One wonders why, if safety has improved.

I have personally witnessed the despair of a family of bike riders who were so frightened by the lack of shoulders and endless traffic that they had to be helped off the highway.

This first thing that needs to be done on the Sunshine Coast is to improve the highway we already have. Instead of building a new one, we need some improvements such as turning lanes at intersections, widening shoulders for bikes, pedestrians and vehicles, reducing curves that have taken lives, increasing sight distance at stop signs, widening pullouts for buses – and yes, completing the bypass to Gibsons.

Charlene Penner, Roberts Creek

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