A woman calling for traffic lights on Highway 1 east of Regina by Pilot Butte says a service road does nothing to help in the short term.
This week, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Highways announced that the speed limit on that stretch of highway will be lowered to 80 km/hour as construction begins on the Regina Bypass. Highway work crews are also starting to move dirt to build a service road between Pilot Butte and Regina. The purpose of that road is to provide an alternate route that won’t require drivers to turn left onto the highway.
Wanda Campbell is part of a group of people in Pilot Butte, White City, Emerald Park and Balgonie who have been holding rallies all summer to call for traffic lights at intersections on that stretch of highway. Campbell’s son, Lane, died in a crash two years ago when he tried to turn left onto Highway 1 from Pilot Butte.
She says the service road sounds like a good solution, but it still won’t improve safety in the short term.
“The service road is not going to be in place until the minimum 2017,” she said.
Campbell appreciates the plan to lower the speed limit, but she also worries that it could make the traffic situation worse without traffic lights.
“What it does is it reduces the space between vehicles now, so those who are trying to access the highway or trying to make that left-hand turn, it’s now going to be more difficult,” Campbell said. “It’s just going to be harder for vehicles to find appropriate space to make that left-hand turn because the traffic is now going to be bunched up more with that speed limit.”
Campbell says she’s surprised at the resistance to putting in traffic lights as a short term solution while they wait for the service road and the bypass.