Coun. Marsh Stevens speaks at Ladysmith town council’s regular meeting on Oct. 19. (Photo by Tyler Hay)

Coun. Marsh Stevens speaks at Ladysmith town council’s regular meeting on Oct. 19. (Photo by Tyler Hay)

Ladysmith town council disappointed with South Davis Road changes

Mayor plans to keep advocating for change

Ladysmith town council expressed disappointment at the decision by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) on the South Davis Road intersection. The ministry announced plans on Tuesday (Oct. 18), which will prohibit left turns onto the Trans-Canada Highway from South Davis and Baker roads.

“I thought that with the push from community members, with the push from council with staff, that we would come with a more comprehensive package of improvements to make the intersection safer, more convenient and long term at least have a plan in place that would support our community,” said Mayor Aaron Stone at council’s regular meeting on Oct. 19.

He said the changes will make the highway safer, but overlook larger issues and unintended consequences. Traffic will be rerouted through the Davis Road corridor in order to access the highway.

“You are going to send people kilometres north to turn around and drive kilometres south, on municipal roads,” Stone said. “Putting wear on our infrastructure, increasing traffic on an already challenging corridor where we have speed issues, we have concerns from neighbours, where children walk to the school bus every day.”

Some residents in the area advocate for a traffic light at the intersection, but it is not unanimous, according to Stone. There are concerns about noise and emissions from starting and stopping on the incline.

“I don’t think that it’s the responsibility of a municipality, when there is an access point right there, to be required to support five kilometres of travel on community roads to get people to their jobs. It’s not good for climate, it’s not good for personal or community finances,” Stone said.

Council agreed to continue writing and advocating to the province to find a more long-term solution to accommodate a growing population in the south end and the flow of traffic through the community.

“Most complaints I get about traffic are the Davis Road corridor and this is only going to exacerbate those,” Stone said. “We have also tried to take leadership on things like climate action, accessibility for active transportation — these measures will not improve any of those things.”

ALSO READ: Improvements coming to South Davis Road and Trans-Canada intersection in Ladysmith



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