Helen Road: The fast the furious

Drivers traveling too fast are making locals too furious.

Ucluelet resident Lisbeth Edwards is sick of seeing cars speed by her Helen Road residence and is calling on her local government to do something about it.

In a letter reviewed by Ucluelet’s council last week, Edwards suggested traffic along Helen is increasing as is the average driving speed.

She believes parents hurrying to and from Ucluelet’s elementary and secondary schools are using Helen as a detour to bypass Peninsula Road’s 30 km/h community zone and also noted large fish trucks routinely commute along Helen.

“There is a crest of a small hill very near my house with no shoulder on either side and I find that people speed up to go over this hill…as do the large trucks,” she wrote.

“I am wondering if there could be a lowering of the speed limit to 30 km (an hour) on Helen and a speed bump installed to force people to slow down before the hill.”

After reading Edwards’ letter, council decided to look into speeding issues throughout Ucluelet as Coun. Geoff Lyons suggested speeders are not isolated to Helen Road.

“As much as I emphasize because I live on the corner of Helen Road, this is a general speed issue throughout the community,” he said. “We can’t isolate Helen Road, I think we should look at the big overall picture.”

He noted council has had discussions about lowering the town’s default speed limit from 50 kmh to 40 kmh.

Coun. Sally Mole said the issue is not unique to Ucluelet.

“It’s not just a problem in our community, other communities are experiencing it,” she said.

ICBC has conducted two road reports in Ucluelet over the past three years and Coun. Dario Corlazzoli asked staff to re-circulate these reports to refresh council’s memory of the community’s road issues.

Mayor Bill Irving said the district has been focused on improving Ucluelet’s community zone along Peninsula but ICBC outlined “quite a few major issues” in their reports.

“It would be a good excercise to circulate it and bring it to the public’s attention for comment and priorities,” he said.

District CAO Andrew Yeates said he would bring the report back to council.

Yeates said ICBC’s recommendations are being checked off.

“Public works, as time allows, continues to work through each and every one of these issues,” Yeates said.

He said signage and street marking were identified as top priorities and road alignments are next on the docket. Improving road safety around Ucluelet’s schools has remained a point of emphasis throughout the work, according to Yeates.

reporter@westerlynews.ca