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'Million-dollar alley' drives Castlegar meeting

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
May 12th, 2010

Officials from the City of Castlegar will host a meeting at City Hall this Thursday in the hopes of finding a solution to the problem of “million-dollar alley”.

So dubbed because of the many vehicular accidents in the area, million-dollar alley refers to a stretch along Highway 22 in front of The Brick and at the Minto Road intersection.

Castlegar mayor Lawrence Chernoff said the city, with the support of the local fire department, has repeatedly requested a lower speed limit along that stretch …to no avail.

In fact, in a Feb.-9 interview, Ministry of Transportation communications director Dave Crebo told The Source, “The ministry is more than happy to discuss the city’s request to lower the speed limit in the area in question. Past requests have been denied because the roadway’s design; the land-use characteristics in that area and the comparatively low accident rate compared to the provincial average – together, those factors support the current speed limit.

“Now, that said, if the community has new information or new thoughts, the Ministry is happy to sit down with them.”

Castlegar fire chief Gerry Rempel responded, on Feb. 10, that while he can’t speak to provincial averages, he feels the area is, indeed, a hazard.

“I support a reduction in speed limit there,” he said. “We’ve had some horrendous accidents there.

“We’ve been incredibly fortunate in that the injuries haven’t been worse.
“I have no experience in highway engineering – but I think a reduction in the speed limit would make that area less destructive.”

Chernoff said he hopes the meeting will allow for some new perspective.
“We’re talking to the regional manager of highway transportation,” he said. “What we’re looking at are the issues we have with the speed limit – we’ve been trying to reduce that limit for years.

“We’ve had some pretty bad accidents at the junction of Highway 22 and Minto Road. The discussions will centre around how we can improve the safety there and prevent a fatality.”

Other options include changing signeage that may currently be reducing visibility for vehicles exiting onto the highway.

Categories: General

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