The Mayor of Steinbach says it is no surprise that Industrial Road at Highway 52 was the worst intersection for collisions last year.
Earlier this week, Steinbach Fire Chief Kel Toews released the list of worst intersections for 2016. There was a two way tie between Industrial Road/ Highway 52 as well as the Main Street/ Hespeler Street/ McKenzie Avenue intersection. Each of those had six collisions reported.
"Hearing that Industrial Road and 52 west is a challenge isn't a surprise to us," admits Chris Goertzen. "We hear it in the news from time to time."
Goertzen says it would seem that having the 80 km/h speed limit start west of Industrial Road, should improve safety at that intersection.
"Obviously we'd want it to be looked at carefully by experts," says Goertzen. "Speed is a factor there and the acceleration is a factor and I think it will be important for Council to look at this and make appropriate recommendations and requests to the provincial government."
But Goertzen says it is the other intersection that surprises him. Lights were erected several years ago at the intersection near the water tower. He says the fact there are as many collisions at that controlled intersection, is alarming. He says they have made requests in the past to have the 80 km/h speed zone moved further east, but each time it has been denied by the Highway Traffic Board.
"It is a bit disappointing when we are not in charge and we do not have final authority over those traffic speeds," says Goertzen. "And yet we think that will probably be the best way to reduce some of the safety concerns."
Goertzen notes most of the challenging intersections in Steinbach are under provincial jurisdiction. He says the city pushes for improvements, and as was the case near the water tower, changes are eventually made.
The Mayor says this information from the Fire Chief, combined with traffic count results to be released next week, will give an accurate picture of where improvements are needed. The City can then take that information in its case to the province.
On a positive note, Goertzen says he is pleased to see that improvements at the Highway 12 and Park Road intersection appear to be working. In 2015, that was tied for most collisions in Steinbach with six. In 2016, there were only three there, moving it down the list.