Stop signal request held at yellow

The Kwanlin Dun First Nation wants a traffic light at Hamilton Boulevard and McIntyre Drive, but council flashed yellow and shelved the signals for a year.

The Kwanlin Dun First Nation wants a traffic light at Hamilton Boulevard and McIntyre Drive, but council flashed yellow and shelved the signals for a year.

Most councillors aren’t sure the lights will make the surrounding area any safer.

The speed limit on Hamilton was just dropped to 60 kilometres an hour from 70, said councillor Doug Graham.

“Now that the speed limit on this part of the Hamilton Boulevard is the same as the upper part, perhaps it’s a good idea to wait to install these traffic signals until we find out if this will reduce the number of accidents,” he said.

Councillors Florence Roberts, Jeanine Myhre and Graham all voted against a motion to implement traffic signals at the intersection. They wanted to see what effect the Hamilton Road expansion and a lower speed limit had before going through the expense and trouble of erecting new lights.

“I think it would be a good idea to delay the project,” said Graham. “I’m not saying we shouldn’t approve it, just delay it.”

The push for the traffic signals came from the Kwanlin Dun First Nation, which wrote a letter to council expressing concern about the high number of “injury-related traffic accidents” at that intersection.

There were 14 accidents at that intersection last year, according to numbers given Dave Stockdale from the traffic committee.

It’s double the number of accidents at other intersections in that area, said Stockdale.

“I’m just wondering if you have to wait to have several accidents before you say, ‘Yeah its a dangerous place. Let’s put some lights in,’” he said on Monday.

Mayor Buckway wasn’t convinced either.

“People continue to go 70, 80, and even 90 kilometres an hour [on that strip],” said Buckway. “Even if we agree to implementing the lights now, it still wouldn’t happen until next fall.”

In 2007, an environmental assessment by the territory recommended a traffic circle be placed at that intersection. The idea was canned when it was found to be unpopular with residents.

Installing a traffic light at the Hamilton Boulevard and McIntyre Drive intersection would cost the city $220,000.

Contact Vivian Belik at vivianb@yukon-news.com