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Letters to the editor

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The recent tragedy on the Squamish Highway last Saturday, Jan. 31, can’t help but make us step back and take a look at our own lives, let alone try to imagine the grief and loss that family and friends of those killed must feel.

This is not the first time that such a tragedy has struck commuters within the community corridor. I urge the city councillors between Squamish, Whistler and Pemberton to re-assess the need for affordable, timely transit between the corridor communities. This will allow our Whistler workers to travel in a safe, stress free environment in an ever increasing congested highway.

Kenneth Boatwright

Whistler

Re: Seven killed in Sea to Sky crash

Mayor Sutherland’s call for a drop in speed limits on the Sea to Sky Highway is a politician’s simplistic knee-jerk response that fails to examine the real cause of the accident. It wasn’t speed that killed those seven people; it was the low-cost, barrier-free design of the highway. That particular section of the Sea to Sky highway, from Cleveland Avenue all the way north to Whistler, should have a concrete barrier dividing the opposing lanes of traffic. In particular, the 20 kilometre segment immediately north of Squamish where the speed limit is mostly 90 km/h.

Remember, this is a major arterial highway used by thousands of vehicles everyday. The current speed limits of 80 km/h, and in some areas 90 km/h, are very appropriate for the grade and alignment of the road. What is needed is to physically divide the highway – it just takes a momentary distraction (screaming kids, arguing spouse, buzzing bee, cell phone ringing, etc.) to result in a driver drifting over the centre line. And if the fates aren’t smiling, then the result can be a head-on collision, which are usually fatal at any speed over 50 km/h.

Think back to the cut up the mountain on the Upper Levels Highway in North Vancouver (the one parallel to Mountain Highway just north of the Second Narrows Iron Workers Memorial Bridge). When it was originally opened it had no centre-line concrete barrier. It took a similar accident where a car crossed over the centre-line resulting in a fatal head-on collision, before a coroner recommended the divider, which the highways department eventually installed.

So let’s get those barriers in place now, before more people are killed through no fault of their own, save government’s fiscal restraint.

Alex Boivin

Vancouver

 

Manabu Ishikawa. What a Guy!

Always smiling one of those unforgettable types of smiles.

We were the image of world peace last Wednesday – Japan, Canada, France, America and Australia combined through our passion for powder.

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