The excessive speed of vehicles along part of Highway 6 has some residents turning to the province for help.
A petition to lower the speed limit through the community of Passmore in the Slocan Valley has been delivered to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Over 100 residents of Passmore and Vallican are asking the province to reduce the speed along a stretch of the highway in Passmore — located 35 kilometres north of Nelson — from 90 kilometres per hour to 60 km/h.
Highway 6 runs north to south through Passmore and it is intersected by the Upper Passmore Road. But with more homes being built throughout the valley and tourism traffic increasing in recent years, traffic volumes on both of these roads have increased significantly.
The speed limit on Highway 6 is 90 kilometres per hour as it passes through Passmore, but drivers often exceed the posted limit, read the petition.
And it is at the curve where Upper Passmore Road meets Highway 6 that the real traffic problems and the need for a reduced speed limit exist. The curve reduces visibility for traffic attempting to make a turn at the intersection.
“Apart from the increased volume of general traffic, there are also many heavy vehicles, chip trucks, logging trucks, etc. passing this intersection at these speeds,” the petition read.
There is no turn lane to allow those approaching from the south on Highway 6 to turn left onto Upper Passmore Road safely at the higher speed limit.
“The sudden arrival of fast traffic from the north forces the one turning to make a sudden stop in the middle of northbound highway traffic: an extremely dangerous circumstance,” the petition stated.
Nor is there a merge lane for those coming from Upper Passmore Road onto the highway.
“Many of us have ourselves experienced near misses or know others who have had one at this intersection,” read the petition. “There have been many motor vehicle accidents at this intersection. As far as we know, none of these accidents have caused a serious injury. Not yet.”
As well, throughout the length of Passmore there are many points of entry onto the highway — driveways and side roads — where slow vehicles enter onto Highway 6.
The need to reduce the speed is a very valid concern in that particular area, explained Regional District of Central Kootenay Area H director Walter Popoff during the last board of directors meeting.
“As a director in that area … I travel that road on a regular basis, and yes, absolutely we need to reduce the speed limit and have a speed limit reduction in that particular area,” he said.
Popoff said he will be following up with the Ministry of Highways as to what action will be taken on it.
If he does not get ‘satisfaction’ Popoff hinted that he will be coming back to the RDCK board for a letter of support.