Sylvan Lake approves traffic safety plan

Enforcement at Sylvan Lake’s most collision-prone intersections and roads will be stepped up as part of a Traffic Safety Plan given the green light by town council on Monday.

Enforcement at Sylvan Lake’s most collision-prone intersections and roads will be stepped up as part of a Traffic Safety Plan given the green light by town council on Monday.

Sylvan Lake’s municipal enforcement manager Nick Reijnen presented council with a detailed traffic study compiling RCMP and Alberta Transportation statistics from 2008 to 2012.

Statistics show 47th Avenue had the highest number of collisions, followed by 50th Street and Hwy 20 within town limits. Rounding out the top five are Lakeshore Drive and 50th Avenue.

The most dangerous intersections were also found on the same roads, with the addition of Herder Drive.

Based on this data, the town’s peace officers plan to “follow the numbers” and focus on the collision hot spots, says Reijnen.

Not surprisingly, given Sylvan Lake’s draw as a summer resort destination, the worst months for collisions are June through August, followed by the winter months of December and February. Lowest collision months were April and October.

Provincially, November, December and January are the months with the most fender benders depending on the year.

To address the summer and winter collision spikes, peace officers plan to focus on those months in the new safety plan.

Research also showed some interesting numbers on the worst collision days in Sylvan Lake. Wednesday tops the list, followed by Friday, then Thursdays and Saturdays. Sunday was the safest day.

Rushing home from work can also prove hazardous. The peak period for accidents is 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., followed by lunch hour and early afternoon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Mayor Susan Samson applauded the enforcement’s department’s proposal.

“I think the plan is really sound,” she said.

It will be useful to put the plan in place and then measure its success next year by comparing statistics.

“If it stayed stable, with our growth, that will really be a win in my mind.”

Reijnen said the RCMP have seen the plan and support the town’s enforcement approach.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com