“Leave it at 60”
Alberta Transportation is not in favour of a return to an 80 kilometre-per-hour speed limit on Hwy. 88 through Slave Lake. A letter stating that was in the town council agenda package on Aug. 12, and up for discussion.
“We can approve or disapprove,” said mayor Tyler Warman.
However, the province has final say.
There are several factors in play. One is the proximity of the paved trail to the highway. Council had earlier held off any decision on changes to the route of the trail, because of the suggestion that the province was considering upgrades to Hwy. 88 through town.
Of particular concern is the spot where the trail runs right next to the southbound lane of traffic, where it crosses the railway tracks. This was also one of the factors mentioned in the letter to the town from Laura Campbell of Alberta Transportation.
“As noted in the photos I provided to you, there are a few locations where the trail is situated very close to the paved surface,” she said.
In addition to the one mention above, these are at the Sawridge Creek bridge, and at the 6th Ave. SE intersection.
There was no mention of improvements to the highway in Campbell’s letter, prompting the following question from councillor Julie Brandle.
“They’re not going to be working on the highway?”
“It’s not in the near-term plans,”’ said town manager Brian Vance.
In that case, said Warman, “We could put it back to 80 and see if it gets approved.”
Councillor Phil Lokken asked if it was functioning well at 60 kph.
Vance said he’d calculated it takes only 45 seconds off the time it takes to drive from one end of the zone to the other.
Warman asked how he had calculated that figure.
“I used math,” said Vance.
“Leave it at 60,” said councillor Darin Busk. “It’s not that big of a deal.”
Lokken agreed. “We have other priorities,” he said.
In that case, said Warman, should we proceed with plans to realign the trail?
No decision was made on that, and the matter was accepted as information. Changes to the trail to improve safety will likely come up in budget discussion for the 2018 fiscal year; as for the speed limit, it will be left alone for the time being.