One flagger’s perspective at Nancee Way

After reading a number of letters about a traffic light at the Westside Overpass construction area, time for you to get informed.

To the editor:

After reading a number of letters to the editor about wanting a traffic light on the highway at the Westside Overpass construction area, time for you to get informed.

It’s time for those people who have complained to get their head out of their butts, quit being selfish, and get the facts first.

I would like to introduce myself as one of the number of certified TCPs (Traffic Control Person), also known as a traffic flagger, working at the location of Hwy 97S and Nancee Way.  I have worked at this location since the beginning, have put in over 400 hours and I would like to give you my personal perspective on what’s happening.

First thing though is to say a special thank you to Deanna P, Tanya V and the few who have taken the time to stop by this location while we work and drop off hot chocolate, coffee and other goodies to keep us going while we work in the cold weather. We all really appreciate your generosity.

Also, many thanks to those who have the courtesy to wave and honk in support of us as you drive by.

Now for the nitty gritty.

For those who are wanting to have a traffic light at this location, you had better take the blinders off and take a close look at where you are driving. The incident with the wall collapsing was unfortunate and yes, an inconvenience for many.  The way some people have reacted is like it was a total conspiracy by Ledcor just to inconvenience you personally.

When the collapse first happened, Ledcor and the highways department had to ensure the travelling public safe passage from point A to point B.  Yes, the detours and line ups were bad at the beginning for you and us too.

They did what they had to do so you were safe. Hwy 97S and Nancee Way is only a temporary intersection until such time as they fix the walls.  If you notice, there is no proper turning lanes, with a curve in the highway and therefore not safe to put traffic lights at this location.

A flagger is a human traffic light and is better than automation at this particular spot. We can adjust to traffic flows through this construction area and help traffic flow better with less disruption to most drivers but regretfully not all.

I also ask that you obey us, the flaggers, as I have personally witnessed stupidity at its best.  The traffic paddle says SLOW—not speed up. It also says STOP—not continue to drive by and almost hit us.

Always be prepared to stop as you never know when the “STOP” sign may appear in your direction.

There have been a number of drivers whom I’m sure got their driver’s licenses out of a Cracker Jack box and some that should turn theirs back into the DMV.

For those who disobey the flaggers, we do take down your license plate and report it to the police,  so beware when you act in a reckless manner.

Our job is to ensure three things. One is for the safety of the construction workers, another is for the safety of the travelling public and the third is the safety of us working out there on the road.

These traffic delays will end soon enough. I suggest that you take a deep breath, find some patience, and leave a little earlier. I’m sure that you want to get home at the end of the day and so do we.

 

 

Clarence Johnson,

Kelowna

 

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