TNRD supports reduced speed limit for Dixon Mountain

The Thompson-Nicola Regional District has put its support behind efforts to get a reduced speed limit on Dixon Mountain east of Barriere.

Directors agreed last week to send a letter to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure backing RCMP Cpl. Rob Welsman’s request to have a posted speed limit of 50 km/h on the gravel road. At the moment there is no limit on the road, which extends north-south and provides access to about 22 rural residential properties, mostly small acreages.

As a result of the unposted limit, most people believe the speed to be 80 km an hour, which has resulted in several complaints from residents over the years.

“Anybody that has been on that section of road, there’s no way it should be 80 kilometres an hour,” said Director Ward Stamer, the mayor of Barriere. “It’s very narrow. We realize there’s industrial traffic that goes through that but they’ve also been laid on the law that they have to crawl through there or go as slow as they can.”

In a letter to the TNRD Board, Welsman said the subdivision on Dixon Mountain is densely populated, not set back far from the road, and it is not uncommon to see pedestrians as well as animals such as privately owned dogs and horses. After conduction some traffic evaluations on the road, he said “at no time would I feel it would be safe to drive” it at 80 km/h even in summer.

“The curves of the road, its gravel surface, and the high likelihood of children or animals on the road in my view makes 50 km/h a far more appropriate speed limit.”

Bill Kershaw, TNDR Director for Area O, said the issue has been ongoing for some time. In the past, local logging contractors had put a sign at the bottom of the hill suggesting traffic limits at 30 km/h but he noted there aren’t many locals logging in Barriere anymore.

“It’s just not an adequate speed for that subdivision anymore,” he said. “This is just taking it to the next level. It’s something the citizens have been working on for a while and now it’s just become a hazard. We support whatever the citizens want in that area.”