A petition to take immediate action to improve traffic safety on Highway 97 in Kaleden garnered nearly 500 signatures in six hours of it being posted and more than 2,000 in two days.
The petition started on change.org is asking to urgently address the series of crashes that have shut the area down in recent weeks, including one serious crash, with the increase of truck traffic from the Lower Mainland.
“The increased traffic flow due to trucks and cars from the Lower Mainland being redirected onto Highway 3A has aggravated the situation. Immediate action is required to improve safety,” said the petition.
This petition was created by the Kaleden Citizen Committee for Traffic Safety.
The petition was started on the morning of Dec. 7.
The blind turn from Highway 3A to Highway 97 is an uncontrolled intersection that has seen numerous crashes over the years, some of them fatal.
The high rate of speed people travel along Highway 97 is an issue on the seriousness of the crashes.
Kaleden-Twin Lakes area director for the Regional District Okanagan Similkameen, Sabrina Monteith is also in support of this petition.
“Let’s stand together. Sign this petition to ask for a change to Hwy 97 and 3A. We deserve a safe road,” said Monteith on Facebook.
Penticton MLA Dan Ashton said he spoke with the Ministry of Transportation staff on Thursday to make them aware that a petition was coming their way and to talk about the concerns of increased traffic on the two major routes.
“The intersection of Highway 3A and Highway 97 was already bad but when you add all the increased commercial truck traffic, it’s definitely a concern,” Ashton said.
“I’ve let the ministry know what a challenge that intersection is,” he added.
Ashton would like to see the provincial government have a plan to handle the increased traffic along Highway 3 and Highway 97.
“There’s no way the mayor of Princeton should be out at 3 a.m. having to do traffic control,” he said. “That was extenuating circumstances but it points to the fact that a bigger plan is needed.”