Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Highway 19 Enough of the Political Lies and Engineering incompetence!

There is a plan for highway 19 alright!  It is not to be worked on until 2 other highways are fully  completed one being highway 53 into Fort McMurray which will take at least 10 years and cost twice as many lives in traffic on highway 19.  There is no budget for highway 19 in the Governments figures, that’s how far away things are.   All communities involved are aware of this. Between them they keep the ball in the air.

But, rather than mitigate some of the traffic disasters they chooses to turn a blind eye.  Considering these disasters were caused by stop lights that were slammed into place for a visual political plus and no thought put into how they were going to operate.  They have never been synchronized.

George Rogers the one time MLA for Devon did absolutely nothing for this town in regards to that highway when the opportunity was there.  I'm sure he's still treading water he is very low on the Conservative totem! 

The big screw up is the lights at the intersection of Airport Road, the 711 store and West jet parking.   2 sets of lights not synchronized at all. No thought given to traffic only thought being having a visual traffic post show they did something.

The results are horrendous if you have to drive it. 
The West Light starts red with a sold line of traffic waiting to go through it.
This string of traffic reaches back to the East set of lights.

At the East set of Lights there are people coming from Leduc, Nisku and Highway number two trying to get into a precious slot of any kind!  They have pulled across the oncoming traffic lane solidly blocking it waiting for a light change where, just maybe traffic that comes in on the light change will allow them to finish making the turn.  Traffic shut down 3 ways for hours at times.

If the vehicle happens to be a large truck it will take 5 changes of lights before it gets lined up behind a light to go straight ahead.   Traffic both ways are block solid for 5 changes and catch-up is a game of nerves.

If you happen to work at the Airport as many in Devon and Leduc do, it is a case of driving in the ditch to get into the Airport and looking for a 2 count break in traffic to crash through to get home. 

Because of this Governments absolute lack of commitment  for this area it is a death trap waiting to happen (still again).

The article would not be complete without talking maintenance on that extremely high traffic road.   The service roads (36 St Provincial jurisdiction) are not sanded.   The whole highway 19 is a sheet of ice at the best of times with only a the very minimum  of effort and material put in to make the drive anything other than a death wish.   Fresh snow make a windblown skating rink and no sanders are ever seen on that road!

Industry from Nisku  traffic from Calmar and Devon use this highway and, it is the route given to permitted truckloads by the Department of Highways compounding the risks!   This invites the use of the large high powered pickup trucks with one person singing along, owning the road at 30 km faster than the general 80 km/hr the road allows.   On the gas and on the brakes.  Ignorant bastards inconsiderate of any one else on the road and on a daily basis leap-frogging traffic; cutting off a dozen vehicles every trip to Nisku with every impunity.


Where do you go in this Government to find accountability of the maintenance contractors or the sloppy planning of engineers capable of better?  Or of the acknowledgement that is is the Government that is killing people on that horrible stretch of road, not the drivers.


Map:
One light problem is at the 635-19 marker (above highway 2 North).  This access loop from 2 rushes in to close this light and will stay immobile for 7 or more light changes if a large truck is in play. (This is the preferred route for Alberta highways to permit large loads by)  Because of no synchronization all lights are compromised!
To the left; Range Rd 251B intersects with 36 St E across highway 19
Morning traffic  from Calmar Devon etc are trying for 2 destinations.  The main batch being Nisku; now blocked  by the light above.  Traffic at this point may stretch 15 km west along highway 19.   Vehicles at this point, (usually larger pickups bought for that reason) travel on the shoulder, partially in the ditch in a crush to get to the 36st turnoff into the Airport.

 In the evenings people trying to get home risk their lives;  yes! Really! To get onto highway 19 westbound.  Beyond the split second timing there is the problem of very poor maintenance on this road so there is no grit on the road either 19 or 36 st to provide traction for a quick and controlled crossing.



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