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October 27, 2017 6:25 pm

Open House Set for Quesnel Transporation Plan

Tuesday, March 21, 2017 @ 5:58 AM

Quesnel, B.C. – There will be an open  house  in Quesnel on April 3rd  to  gather  public input on  possible  improvements to the  Highway 97 corridor.The City of Quesnel  has  been very vocal about its concerns  with  heavy transport trucks,  some carrying dangerous goods,  running through the heart of the community, but  Mayor Bob Simpson  says  even if  there is no bypass  or  dangerous goods route  established,  there are  a number of other issues which  have to  be addressed.

The City has been  working with the Ministry of Transportation for more than  18 months  says Simpson, in an effort to  develop a plan   for safety improvements on the  stretch of highway  that runs through the City. Specifically,  Quesnel intersections with the provincial highway,  as the City  cannot  move forward with  intersection improvements without  the Ministry’s  approval  “We have been  trying to engage them in that conversation” says Simpson.

Simpson says there are a couple of reports that have been  done by the Ministry of Transportation, which  he hopes will be  made public at the  open house “There’s a comprehensive analysis of the road traffic on Highway 97 ,  the most comprehensive that has ever been done.  We believe that report  should be made public so the general population  will understand  what the Ministry  believes is the  traffic flow going through our community.  The other one is  an economic report that basically says  what the Ministry of Transportation thinks is going to be the future of traffic flow  of Highway 97  through town.”  He says those two reports are critical to the discussion about  the future  of the highway.

Simpson says  the City is  frustrated in that the  Ministry of Transportation   considers the City “Just another stakeholder”  and adds “We would rather be a partner but we are treated  as a stakeholder.”    He says  the  Ministry’s removal of a right turn lane at Carson ( in front of the RCMP building) has had a negative impact on  traffic flow   “It allowed in town coming  traffic to get off the highway, they (vehicles) are now backing up  highway traffic all the way to our visitor’s centre so,  almost half a  kilometer.  We are trying to get that  turn lane restored.    It becomes particularly important as we are making  significant investments  in our  visitor centre parking lot and the parking lot  at the new arena.”

He says there are also  issues at the South Quesnel  commercial zone  where intersections with the highway  have been the scene of  numerous  crashes. “We want to know  from the Ministry of Transportation how we can work with them to make  changes there.”  He says while some of the technical  discussions have  resumed, “It is our hope,  we will take those conversations and  start looking at these discreet projects   while the Ministry does the longer  term planning on the Highway 97 route at large.”

The  open house is set for Monday April 3rd  from 4 to 8 pm  at the Quesnel Senior’s Centre on Carson Avenue.



It is time to get with the program and deal with that antiquated road going through Quesnel! Sure, the store owners will complain about business dropping off! Well then, upgrade the road and make it a more friendly route instead of a weird roundabout way and not being a straight though route. Everytime I have to drive through these town I find it still a tad ridiculous on getting through it! Truckers must love it!!! LOL

With present conditions a driver makes the decision to either drive through the center of town via Highway 97 and Front Street to keep going, or – for personal reasons like shopping, restaurants etc – leave Highway 97 and Front Street at one of the intersections.

With a bypass in place it is the same: either keep going or leave the bypass to go to downtown Quesnel! However, a bypass is safer and environmentally cleaner for the citizens of Quesnel! Great news that the government has already identified the problems and has some solutions to offer!

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