Traffic safety measures on Highway 2 have been a long time coming.
After years of serious near-misses, collisions and fatalities - the most recent being on July 7 near 306 Ave., Foothills County has opted to do something about safety along its busiest corridor.
There are several dangerous turn-offs along Highway 2 between the Okotoks and Aldersyde overpasses, and Foothills council is asking Alberta Transportation to close the medians at 306 Ave., 338 Ave., and 370 Ave. to prevent serious collisions caused by motorists attempting to cross the busy highway.
Most of the incidents can likely be chalked up to driver error, misjudging distances between cars, people traveling without headlights, or not knowing how to navigate the highway median in order to make a left turn on or off the highway.
The fact is, with traffic volumes ever-increasing, the likelihood of driver error subsiding is low. Something needs to be done to curb the dangers of entering and exiting Highway 2,, and completely closing 306 Ave. while making right-in, right-out intersections at 338 Ave. and 370 Ave. is a good first step.
Of course, the next steps need to be construction of an overpass at 338 Ave, which is in the plans with Alberta Transportation but not on its immediate priority lost, and installing traffic light on Highway 2A and 306 Ave. to control the inevitable increase in drivers using the road coming in or out of Okotoks.
The lights have been warranted for some time with growing numbers of visitors to Hebson Arena and Big Sky BBQ Pit, and they are high on Foothills County’s transportation wish list.
For now, addressing the issues on Highway 2 will make crossing it safer. It may mean motorists have to adjust and travel a little further out of the way to access an existing overpass.
Life is worth the extra drive.