Five members have been chosen to be part of a committee which will address issues regarding downtown parking, traffic flow and speed limits in Burns Lake.
Council decided to form the so-called Village of Burns Lake safety taskforce committee last October after gathering feedback from the community.
The committee members chosen include Doug MacDonald with ICBC, Seth Hunter with Lakes District Maintenance, Lianne Olson with the Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, as well as Angie Allwood and Carl Lutz with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
As part of their goals, the committee will engage the community and provide council with recommendations. Decisions and recommendations of the committee will be approved based on majority vote of those members in attendance.
The first meeting of the committee is still in the process of being set up.
The village held a meeting with local business and building owners to discuss parking and traffic issues on Oct. 11, 2017.
One of the ideas discussed during the meeting was the possibility of relocating a crosswalk from its current location near Chevron to a new location near the parking lot across from the Evergreen Mall. The group also discussed the possibility of a warning/crosswalk light in the area.
Other ideas discussed during the meeting include a feasibility study to re-develop the parking lot across from the Evergreen Mall, and the possibility of combining this parking lot with the Tweedsmuir Hotel’s parking lot (old Lakeland Hotel).
Council has also been considering the possibility of lowering speed limits in Burns Lake to improve safety. The current speed limit within the village is 50 km/h, unless otherwise posted. The potential change would not include Hwy. 16, where the current speed limit is also 50 km/h.
Last year council directed staff to install two short-term parking signs and one loading zone sign along Hwy. 16 – between Centre Street and First Avenue – to increase parking options for people spending money on local businesses. These signs drew criticism from some community members.
According to councillor Kelly Holliday, one the most frequent complaints was that one of the short-term parking signs – located in the middle of that highway section – could not be seen by drivers since it doesn’t face upcoming traffic. She said residents also mentioned that the loading zone sign installed at the west end of that highway section was “too far” from the majority of businesses in that area.