Lowering the speed limit along Willingdon Avenue to slow down ferry traffic avoiding the stoplight at Wharf Street and Marine Avenue is a smart start to addressing Powell River's problem with driving safety.
But there are deeper issues at hand here and they can be broken down into two, often overlapping categories: more drivers and aggressive drivers.
As Powell River has grown, so has the number of vehicles. Try turning left onto Joyce Avenue from Courtenay or Burnaby streets and you will quickly realize how much more traffic has taken to the roads over the years.
City of Powell River's planning department would be wise to undertake a comprehensive study of traffic patterns and make necessary adjustments to address the volume of vehicles on streets and intersections that were designed for the days where you could drive to town and see only a handful of cars.
Besides the changing traffic patterns, there remains the age-old problem of aggressive and reckless drivers.
Cutting down Willingdon to avoid the other ferry traffic is one thing, but tailgating, speeding and driving aggressively is another. How many times in the past couple of years have you almost been mowed down at a crosswalk?
This isn't a city where it takes 45 minutes to drive somewhere (unless you live in Lund and work at Saltery Bay). Most daily commutes are mere minutes long, so being consumed by road rage because it takes five minutes instead of three to arrive at whatever destination you are rushing to is just ridiculous.
Compared to Vancouver or Victoria, traffic in Powell River is unbelievably tame. But that doesn't stop some drivers from being in a mad rush. Why not leave the house five minutes earlier?
Kudos to city officials for taking the concerns of residents seriously, addressing the fact that traffic has increased and looking at how to improve driving patterns.
Making Willingdon a 30-kilometre zone is a positive move. A one-way street toward the ferry would be even better if a bottleneck of ferry traffic could somehow be avoided.
Increasing Powell River RCMP enforcement of aggressive driving and speeding is another, urgent necessity.
Most importantly, next time you are in a rush, ask yourself if is it worth someone getting killed to make that already quick commute just a little bit quicker?
Jason Schreurs, publisher/editor