ff Old Vernon Road on the east side of the airport runway, Anderson Road runs up to the Sunset Golf Course and the newly developing Sunset Ranch Subdivision. This three kilometer stretch of two lane road has exploded into a major Ingress/Egress from everything from cars, trucks, commercial vehicles, farm equipment, bike riders, motor cycles of all sizes and power, walkers with and without dogs, hikers, horse riders, etc., etc.. Scotty Creek runs parallel from east to west down this valley that has a sub-division to the south, a trailer court, several commercial orchards and “dude ranches”. Besides the many golf balls that float down the creek, this is a main natural confined corridor for many critters – deer, bear, eagles, hawks, dozens of varieties of birds, coyotes, etc..
Being in Ellison presents a variety of challenges when it comes to bylaws, road maintenance and, of course, speed limits. A quick survey strongly supported a request for the recognition of a growing problem. The speed limit is 50 km/h. from Old Vernon Road’s 70 km/h. and has warning signage to beware of horse riders, hidden driveways and view impediments where 30 km/h. has been posted.
I personally have “clocked” with a borrowed radar gun, cars, trucks and especially motor cycles travelling well over 100 km/h. About four months ago we began to find out just how hard it is to “govern” the speed limit on this two lane roadway. There are over six different government departments as well as the RCMP that have been advised of the growing concern over someone/something getting hurt or killed on this stretch. After several months of discussions, meetings, emails, etc., with these groups we finally figured we were at an dead end as to who may be able to help. With honest respect, each one of the departments we talked with acknowledged the problem but seemed to be only able to suggest who might be able to address the challenge. It also had to be agreed by several of these groups that the problem did, in fact, exist. As we could appreciate we were not the only problem area in our city or rural area – there are many, many cropping up as our city expands and gets larger and busier. The most logical way to approach this stretch (other than random radar from an already busy police and by-law duties) or the speed watch (which unfortunately we didn’t qualify for) was to – not over sign the road way, speed bumps, rumble strips (lots of ideas), but to have installed a speed board (even for a short period of time) letting folks know what their speed is. Best we could ask for under the circumstances. That being said, who and which “department” would have the authority to place one of these warning devices on the road. We ran out of options and it was not really fair to involve the media as everyone we talked with really tried to help.
Well, we tried.
This morning on the way into town on top of the crest of the first hill coming east was a super surprise. A lighted speed indicator sign was set for anyone beginning the run up Anderson Road. Wise. Those going would then know when they were coming back down to be cautious. At this time we do not know who was really responsible for doing this but I believe it was the Department of Highways—one of the groups we discussed this with. Who ever you are: Thank you, thank you, thank you!
There is no perfect answer but this is very much a wonderful first step in a very difficult ‘who’s gonna step up to the plate?’ decision. On behalf of the residents, critters, riders, walkers—you did good. I rode a motorcycle in my younger days and I know what would happen if I was travelling 100 km/h and a quail flew up and I hit it. I would not be here to thank you. It will also give the members of the RCMP a leg up if anyone is caught playing games with fate. Maybe walking down a road like this after loosing your license would be a good thing.
Joel Rickard, Kelowna