Burns Lake Council has decided to form a safety task force to address current and emerging traffic, road and parking issues in Burns Lake.
Representatives of the Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce, Lakes District Maintenance, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, Burns Lake RCMP, ICBC, council, village staff and homeowners will be invited to this task force.
According to village staff, recommendations for Burns Lake’s 2018 budget and future budgets will come from this new task force.
The idea was suggested after the Village of Burns Lake held a meeting with local business and building owners on Oct. 11, 2017 to garner feedback on recent parking changes. A number of suggestions were discussed at the meeting, including crosswalk safety and parking lot lighting.
The task force will be expected to discuss 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, as well as installing a loading zone in this parking lot.
The group will also discuss the possibility of a warning/crosswalk light near this crosswalk.
In addition, the task force is expected to discuss a feasibility study to re-develop the parking lot across from the Evergreen Mall, as well as the possibility of combining this parking lot with the Tweedsmuir Hotel’s parking lot (old Lakeland Hotel).
Furthermore, the task force will discuss the inclusion of handicap parking in the downtown core, and address traffic sign and speed limit issues.
Council has 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.
During the 2016 business walks, the village’s economic development officer was approached with a number of concerns from downtown business owners and patrons regarding the lack of parking in the downtown area.
The village held a meeting on Jan. 24, 2017 to discuss this issue with business owners and patrons. This meeting resulted in council directing 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.
The location of these signs has drawn criticism from some community members.