I recently had the pleasure of sitting in on the “breakfast with the mayor” meeting. There were a number of topics discussed at the breakfast meeting, and one of the topics I brought forward was regarding the old Hwy. 35 – Hwy. 16 intersection.
For decades, residents of Burns Lake and the Lakes District driving north on the road, use to be able to make a “left-hand turn” at this intersection.
Some years ago the intersection was changed so that today, drivers can no longer make a left-hand turn at this intersection, only right-hand turns.
What this has done is increased traffic through the south entrance of either the A&W restaurant and Town Pantry for vehicles and drivers that want to make a left-hand turn. Others still take the only turn you’re allowed to the right, then immediately turn left into the Home Hardware parking lot so that they again can make a left-hand turn. Others, I have noticed, take the right-hand turn lane and then make a left turn anyway, even though it is now illegal to do so.
Of all the entrance ways to the Hwy. 35 – Hwy. 16 intersection, vehicles that are north bound in this lane have the longest safe sight view, both left and right other than those coming out of A&W, Town Pantry, Home Hardware or even Centre Street. Yet this left-turn lane is blocked off.
This is our town and we don’t need a metropolitan designer telling us how we should design our streets.
To my knowledge, there has never been a major traffic incident at this intersection. Safeguards through reduced speed limits and safe site lines have helped immensely.
By changing this pattern of traffic, I strongly believe that doing so has increased the likelihood of pedestrians being struck by vehicles that are now driving through A&W, Town Pantry and Home Hardware, let alone the drivers who still do decide to make a left-hand turn from the right lane.
Therefore due to the increased safety risk, I encourage anyone who agrees with me to take the opportunity to cut out this letter, sign it and deliver it to the Village of Burns Lake, mayor and council, requesting that the “left-turn lane” be re-accessible to drivers.
Albert L. Gerow