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LETTER: Lowering highway speeds a viable answer

Editor: I am writing in regards to the discussion of a pedestrian overpass over the Trans-Canada Highway to facilitate movement from the important residential area north of the highway to amenities and businesses south of the highway. The overpass is a

Editor:

I am writing in regards to the discussion of a pedestrian overpass over the Trans-Canada Highway to facilitate movement from the important residential area north of the highway to amenities and businesses south of the highway. The overpass is a good idea and the ultimate solution, but budgeting, planning, and building will take years.

An action that could be implemented immediately, and would make the highway much safer, would be to lower the speed limit to 90 km/h. Not only would this harmonize with the speed limit in Banff National Park, but has the potential to save lives.

We have often seen people scurrying across the highway between vehicles, and because there is no wildlife fencing east of the park gate, elk are commonly seen crossing, grazing, or just hanging out along the highway.

There is a significant difference in traffic flow in a 90 km/h zone where vehicles are travelling 95 – 100 km/h and a 110 km/h zone where the vehicles are travelling 115-120 km/h. The difference between a vehicle at 100 km/h vs a vehicle at 120 km/h is approximately 20 feet per second.

This extra speed makes it much more difficult for a person to judge how fast a vehicle is coming and for a driver to react to something on the highway. I firmly believe a 90 km/h speed limit from the park gates to Lac des Arc would make the highway much safer.

Wouldn’t we all give up a few minutes to save a life?

Paul Christiansen,

Canmore