River Road traffic not going away

Port Alberni won't deal with traffic issues at River Road and Beaver Creek Road because congestion is a seasonal issue right now.

The City of Port Alberni has decided not to deal with traffic issues at the intersection of River Road and Beaver Creek Road because congestion is a seasonal issue right now, and development of the area isn’t imminent.

With the upcoming construction of a new Ford dealership on Beaver Creek Road, and possibilities for the Clutesi Haven Marina site, we hope the city isn’t simply sweeping this issue under the carpet in hopes it will disappear.

The intersection at Roger Street, Gertrude Street and Stamp Avenue recorded the highest number of fender-benders last year, according to ICBC statistics. A median and lane markings have improved the area, however it can still be a scary place for drivers.

While many people have asked for a traffic light in front of the marina on River Road, we would like to hear some dialogue on traffic circles for each of these intersections. A traffic circle or roundabout is a circular intersection without stop signs or electronic lights.

A two-lane traffic circle on River Road could alleviate congestion and allow for smoother access to new development. A similar entity at the confluence of Roger, Stamp and Gertrude might also have a calming effect on traffic accidents.

Traffic circles, long the butt of travellers’ jokes—recall the scene in National Lampoon’s European Vacation, when the Griswalds get stuck in the roundabout in London—are cropping up in more North American cities as communities come up with different ways to deal with congestion.

We think they’re worth a look for Port Alberni.