The safety of the roads of Queen Charlotte was on the minds of councillors reviewing a draft report at their January 3 meeting.
The report — prepared by a consultant for the village, ICBC and the Ministry of Highways — identifies potential accident areas and other road safety issues in the new municipality.
Mayor Carol Kulesha asked council for comments. She said this was the one time they’d have such open access to the consultant and if there is anything missing in the report it was time to speak out.
For example, Mayor Kulesha says town speed limits were not addressed as a whole in the report.
“Should we have one rate all the way through town?” she asked, questioning the effectiveness of having the limit shift between 30 kilometres and 50 kilometres an hour.
Councillor Gladys Noddin said many residents have deemed the taxi service unreliable. She wanted to know whether only a certain number of taxis can be licensed per capita?
“Is there any way to address taxis?” she asked.
Mayor Kulesha suggested this line of discussion was more about public transit and problems finding drivers. She added a bus service has been tried several times, but there are not enough people to make it viable.
Councillor Eric Ross used to own the taxi business on island and outlined the rules as he remembered them. He thinks the rules of a taxi license state the service has to be available 24 hours.
“Otherwise if complaints go in, the license can be pulled and given to somebody else,” he added.
Councillor Kris Olsen wasn’t at the meeting, but he left written comments. He said he liked some of the suggestions in the report about how to deal with the worst streets, but he feels the current system is working well.
“Road safety is important, but council can wait and attend to more important issues,” he said.
Councillor Ross, on the other hand, thinks something must be done about Skidegate Landing, before a terrible accident happens in the area.
He is concerned about the way ferry passengers’ cars are parked on the side of the road and the two businesses operating large trucks in the area.
He suggested using the old road above the landing as a parking area.
Mayor Kulesha said they would need to research whether the area was private property or not.
The road safety report was in draft format — council would not provide the Observer with a copy.
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