Province needs to fix busy highway
Wednesday, Aug 02, 2017 11:58 am
A dangerous intersection outside of Okotoks claimed another life this week.
On Saturday morning, a 61-year-old Turner Valley man was killed when a vehicle stopped to turn left off Highway 7. Though the car immediately behind it stopped, the third did not and pushed the second vehicle into oncoming 100km/hr traffic.
Itís not the first time - not even this year. There were two major accidents at the intersection of 16 Street (Big Rock Trail) and Highway 7 in January, just one day apart. Several other collisions have occurred at the same location over the past few years.
Itís no surprise given the increased populations of Okotoks and Black Diamond/Turner Valley. Add to that the popularity of Chinook Honey Farm, immediately south of the intersection, and the fact Big Rock Trail is a common shortcut for drivers exiting Okotoks, and itís a recipe for disaster.
The Province has been lobbied on several occasions to review Highway 7, specifically at 16 Street and at Southridge Drive (Okotoks).
So far no action has been taken, though residents were led to believe there was promise after the incidents in January, when Alberta Transportation sent a letter to the Chinook Honey Farm indicating it would be looking into traffic on the highway.
So far, the Province has indicated it still doesnít intend to twin Highway 7, even in light of the recent annexation of lands south of the highway into Okotoks. Wind Walk will begin developing within the next year, and traffic issues will only get worse.
Itís going to take more than just looking into the situation to avoid future tragedies.
The Province needs to step up and do whatever it takes to make Highway 7 safe, whether it twins the road or puts lights at Big Rock Trail.
This is the time for action, before Highway 7 claims more innocent lives.