The cooperative Transportation Committee aims to address the rising concern about safety around the highway in both the Nak’azdli reserve and in Fort St. James.
“What really got us thinking is when (Mayor Rob MacDougall) was running for mayor one of his promises was that he would look at transportation and create a transportation committee and it was very clear that this was something we could do collaboratively,” said Coun. Joan Burdeniuk.
Though this concern has boiled over recently it has been on the minds of residents for much longer.
“I introduced myself at (Nak’azdli’s) annual general assembly and a bunch of community members came to me and said we need to look at increasing the safety along our highway,” Angel Ransom, the comprehensive Community Plan coordinator, said.
Through this collaborative effort, Ransom and Burdeniuk are hoping to create solutions that benefit both communities, flow well into existing plans and multiply their means.
“We’re hoping by putting up a united front, and working collaboratively we’ll be able to come up with some really good resources,” said Burdeniuk
By working together the committee has found ways of increasing the usefulness of the walking path by joining it with other paths planned for the community.
“We’re looking at a unified approach, to make it a tourist thing and a safety thing. And it will look connected with the town,” said Ransom.
The committee has pinpointed some needs in the community, including lighting in the reserve, signage to make drivers more aware, the current flashing speed sign in the reserve and the walking path, but Burdeniuk and Ransom still want more community input.
“Right now we’re at the formative stage,” said Burdeniuk. “Where we’re trying to figure out: what are the issues? So if anyone has any issues, our plan right now is to throw every issue on the table and then identify what we can deal with in the short term, in the long term.”
In collaboration Ransom and Burdeniuk have already begun to make holistic changes, and, with the aid of the community, look forward to making the region safer for residents.