The B.C. government will be hosting a forum in Chilliwack sometime in November to seek public opinion on provincial highway speed limits.
The province is in the process of reviewing speed limits on longer stretches of highway in between communities, and the forum will serve as part of the public engagement process, which will also include social media and online feedback.
Public input and information from a technical review will be used to determine where speed limit adjustments are appropriate.
According to a Ministry of Transport press release, an initial technical review is currently being conducted, which includes an evaluation of latest research from around the world, specific characteristics of B.C. highways, travel speed, safety history and volume and mix of traffic.
Although not formally part of the review process, local residents have expressed concern over speed limits and structure on a portion of Highway 1 that tends to flood between the Annis and Agassiz exits on a community Facebook page.
"They even have signs warning of pooling water on the [highway]. What are the engineering standards for provincial highways? My car almost hydroplaned four times," said resident
Shauna Martens Jimmie on Oct. 1. "I was even going under the speed limit. That section of road is so dangerous. I even got off the [highway] because of it."
"I have driven this strip four times a day for 14 years. In heavy rain the water pooling on the road in hills is terribly treacherous," replied Laurel
Sinclair Janzen. "I've hydroplaned when driving below the speed limit, so has my husband and I've seen it happen to other vehicles as well."
Dates for the forums are to be determined, but other communities include Kamloops, Nanaimo, Prince George, Dawson Creek, Vancouver, Kelowna and Cranbrook. Other
communities will be added as necessary.
The government will also be seeking public input on how to reduce crashes involving wildlife on rural provincial highways, and reviews on how to improve the safe movement of slower vehicles.
Input from the Union of B.C. Municipalities, ICBC, police and other key authorities will also be sought, with practical recommendations from the review and a strategy for implementation expected to be ready in spring 2014.
Possible local speed limit changes The City of Chilliwack is already considering raising speed limits on some rural roads within the municipality.
Back in April, Dave Harder of the city's Rural Issues Advisory Committee requested that the speed limit on Yale Road West from the Travelodge to Evans Road be increased.
At its Sept. 24 meeting, city council then endorsed a resolution that the Transportation Advisory Committee identify rural roads that can have increased speed limits.
The stretch of Yale Road West was suggested along with Wolfe Road from the city's wastewater treatment plant to Chilliwack Mountain Road.
-with files from Paul J. Henderson
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