Community town hall to focus on future of Hwy 16A and Range Road 20 intersection
The future of an intersection west of Edmonton in Parkland County, known by some as the "death trap" for being the scene of multiple crashes, continues to be reviewed by the provincial government.
On Tuesday, area residents will have a chance to provide feedback on the intersection of Highway 16A and Range Road 20 to Alberta Transportation at a town hall.
That intersection has eastbound and westbound traffic round a blind corner at the top of a hill to find some motorists trying to move north or south on Range Road 20, explained Keshia Korrall.
Last summer, Korrall was driving in the area when she was first at the scene of a crash at that intersection. Later, when she spoke with paramedics at the scene, she said they told her it had been the second serious crash in a week they'd been dispatched to.
Ever since, she has advocated to the county and province to have the intersection redesigned, upgraded, or closed, including starting a petition that has garnered thousands of signatures.
She's happy a town hall is happening but hopes it comes along with actual action.
"I just want answers," she told CTV News Edmonton. "It's been enough. I don't want to see anyone else get hurt [there]."
- 'How many more crosses are we going to put up?': Calls for change to Parkland County intersection
- Petition started to change dangerous intersection west of Edmonton after fatal accident
- Falling power lines prevented rescue in fatal 2-vehicle crash west of Edmonton
Bryan Kwasnycia's daughter Jade, a fourth-year education student and a regular volunteer in the community died as she tried to cross Highway 16A in August 2022.
Kwasnycia wants the intersection closed for good, with traffic seeking to cross the highway rerouted away to Range Road 15.
"Every Friday, when I come home from work, I stop at the graveyard just across the road to visit my daughter for something that should never have happened," Kwasnycia said.
One of several crosses lines the ditch near Range Road 20 and Highway 16A (CTV News Edmonton/Dave Mitchell).
He plans to remind provincial officials at the town hall about how the intersection has been problematic since "day one" and that collisions continue to happen there.
"I'd like them to know what this does to a community, what it does to a family, when something like this is completely preventable," he added. "They see the same pattern over, over and over again, and they refuse to do anything about it."
"There was a comment made one time by the government that was they don't want to do anything that would disrupt the flow of traffic," Kwasyncia said.
"But having people die there and having the intersection closed down there like once a month for accidents, I guess, isn't considered disrupting traffic."
- Two people sent to hospital after collision on Hwy 16A
- Highway 16A west of Edmonton clear after downed power line
CHANCE FOR OPEN DIALOGUE: AREA MLA
Tuesday's town hall is another opportunity to gather feedback from the community, Shane Getson, area UCP MLA, said in an interview.
"[We will have] open, honest, transparent dialogue and make sure everyone has a voice," he said. "Forget the social media warriors and just get everyone in a room and talk about it.
"And that's the most genuine and honest thing we can do about it," Getson added, who represents Lac Ste. Anne Parkland.
In previous consultations, Getson says he's heard from some residents who want to keep the intersection open. His focus is on balancing safety with allowing traffic to flow along the "major highway and economic corridor."
"We want to make sure we do the right thing for everybody," Getson said, adding that traffic analysis has been done on the area since 2014.
- Highway 16A near Range Road 20 closed due to fatal collision
- STARS called to collision on Hwy 16A
- Police investigate two-vehicle crash near Stony Plain
A sign along Highway 16A marks the intersection with Range Road 20, which locals call the "devil's intersection."
When looking at the statistics for the intersection, Getson says: "A solution has to come into place because of the severity frequency.
"When you are looking at the overall traffic volumes, it doesn't compute, you could probably get away with this for another 10 to 15 years but again, we are having incidents at that intersection.
"The education process hasn't taken hold, flashing lights aren't seeming to solve it, so that's where you have to accelerate something. It's in everyone's best interest, safety," he added.
Alberta Transportation officials told CTV News Edmonton that while no decisions have been made, safety remains their focus.
"We understand that this is a priority for the region," a statement from the provincial department read.
"We are actively reviewing options on how to best move forward with changes to the intersection."
One option is to close the intersection as is and relocate it to a safer location with better sightlines and building service roads, Alberta Transport added.
In the meantime, as community consultation and design work continue, Getson pleaded drivers remain cautious as they approach that intersection.
"God willing and the creeks don't rise, we don't have another incident out there again," he said.
With files from CTV News Edmonton's Jessica Robb
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