BATTLEFORD — A resident of Battleford is voicing concerns that speed limits coming into town on Highway 40 are inadequate and pose a danger to residents on foot or cycling. Council received a letter dated Aug. 23 from Jordan Kist at their Sept. 5 meeting, Kist hoping that council will be able to speak with the Ministry of Highways.
Kist describes an expanded Battleford, both commercially and residentially. However, he notes that this has also changed the flow of vehicular and pedestrian traffic in the around 8th Ave. West and Highway 40.
"Many residents, including young families with children, access the industrial area and the dog park on the south side of the highway ... with vehicle speeds at this intersection of 80 kilometres an hour, and with the lack of a northbound turning lane, it presents a safety issue," Kist explained in his letter.
Mayor Ames Leslie noted that the town does not have the authority or power to change the speed limits, though they can advocate with the ministry.
"We definitely can have a conversation with the Ministry of Highways. Two years ago, we had a safety audit done ... and they came back and said, 'speed reduction is not required on any of the roads in and out of Battleford,' but it doesn't mean we can't go back to the Ministry of Highways and engage in those conversations again."
Mayor Leslie noted that before the recent cabinet shuffle, Minister Cockrill was open to the reduction of highways but conversations would have to be started with newly appointed minister, Lori Carr.
Kist also noted in his letter that the reduction of speed limits may also reduce noise levels. He added that despite the efforts of municipal enforcement and highway traffic authorities, the use of engine retarder brakes and excessive speeding on the highway continue, often late at night.
Mayor Leslie told council that he'd write a letter back to Kist explaining the situation, and would engage in conversations with the ministry.