Creston’s Devon Street-Valleyview Drive intersection needs better solution

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To the Editor:

Let me preface this by saying I admire the difficult job the mayor, councillors, staff and works department do each and every day. I am writing this not to minimize their efforts but to recognize them and their difficulty. No matter what you do when you’re working with the public, you will never please everyone all of the time.

I’m writing this to seek a solution to what I see as a problem, the new intersection between Devon Street and Valleyview Drive. I travel this route every working day, usually five days a week; I’ve been doing this for eight years or so.

The old route where Devon Street ran straight down to Valleyview Drive was simple and efficient. I was shocked to see that the road was closed one morning and a sign was erected directing traffic to enter Devon Street via a new connector built opposite Hawkview Estates. The new road requires people travelling southeast on Valleyview Drive to make a slow awkward turn onto the new connector. The turn is such that if you don’t slow down to a crawl to make the almost right-angled turn, you end up bisecting the stop line of the vehicles travelling southwest at the intersection of Valleyview Drive and Devon Street.

Is this a really big deal? No, of course not. Just drive very slowly — very, very slowly — and make the turn. What it is is inconvenient and unnecessary.

I asked mayor Ron Toyota why the bottom section of Devon Street had been closed. He explained that since there had been a very bad accident at the previous intersection the decision was made to close that intersection and make a new one. I would venture to guess quite a few of the intersections in town have had accidents and we haven’t closed those.

I also asked town works superintendent Ferd Schmidt about the new intersection. I asked if traffic flow studies were done and mentioned that I was having a hard time using the connector without cutting the stop line at the intersection. Anyone that knows Ferd knows he’s a great guy. He was very accommodating, even though he was off the clock.

I was still left with some questions, though. With this big accident, was causality determined? My educated guess is that speed, not sightlines, was the issue. Valleyview Drive is on a long downhill grade that makes it difficult to adhere to the posted speed limit.

As the closed section of Devon Street is still needed to provide access to the homes there, I propose making the very bottom portion a one-way street. This will allow motorists to still travel east on Devon utilizing the old intersection and circumventing the problems associated with using the new intersection. Sightlines in that direction are more than adequate to prevent an accident.

Finally, I put this to all the readers out there: If you’ve thought the same as I have, please let the good people at Town Hall know. It’s only through a united voice that we can effect change.

Gary Cote

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