Dangerous intersection has seen 29 accidents since 2008

Resident cautions Council of the dangers that the intersection of Highway 95A, Theatre Road and Mission Road presents.

  • May. 27, 2015 4:00 p.m.
A serious accident occurred May 5 at the intersection of Theatre Rd. and Highway 95A

A serious accident occurred May 5 at the intersection of Theatre Rd. and Highway 95A

Arne Petryshen

In a letter to city council, a resident cautioned of the dangers that the intersection of Highway 95A, Theatre Road and Mission Road presents to motorists and other traffic.

The intersection lies just outside of Cranbrook.

Paul Sawatzky wrote that he witnessed an accident there on May 5 involving two SUVs.

“I was outside at the time and was one of the first people to respond to the accident,” he said. “A tire from one of the vehicles involved in the crash ended up in the front yard of our business.”

Sawatzky noted this wasn’t the first accident he’d seen there, as his place of employment is located just off the intersection.

“This intersection is extremely busy,” Sawatzky wrote. “There is a large volume of traffic on Highway 95A throughout the day. The resort at St. Eugene generates a high volume of traffic. Many motorists use Theatre Road as an access road for Cranbrook. Immediately after this intersection is the turn off for Collinson Road which is used to access the parking lot for Rails to Trails.”

He gave some suggestions to make the intersection safer, including: drop the highway speed limit at that location down to 60 km/h; install warning signs; install rumble strips and/or speed bumps; and increase RCMP enforcement at that area.

He suggested a traffic light could be an option as well.

At city council on Monday, CAO Wayne Staudt clarified that part of the intersection is in city limits  where it comes into Theatre Road.

“Then the highway part is outside city limits. The area coming in from Mission Road is of course not city limits, but we do have some city limit issues going on there.”

Staudt said he has spoken to the city’s Director of Engineering about the letter.

“This is a bad corner and we need to work with highways, whether it ends up being streetlights or widening of the road — more turnout lanes or whatever — but it definitely is going to be a joint effort between us and (The Department of) Highways.”

Sharpe said he has been in discussions with Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“They have identified it as an intersection of concern as well,” Sharpe said, adding that a basic investigation found 29 accidents since 2007. “Ten of those were injury accidents.”

Sharpe noted that he drives from Kimberley and has witnessed accidents there many times.

Cardozo noted there are too many things going on in the intersection.

“A lot of people think it’s just a matter of two stop signs — well no, there’s also the two in-ways that come off each side,” she said. “It’s confusing.”

Coun. Isaac Hockley wondered if they could put the speed reader sign at that location. Staudt pointed out that speed wasn’t the problem in this case.

“It’s not a speeding concern, it’s a traffic control area that needs to be improved,” Staudt said.