The Time to Twin committee has decided to proceed with its fight to twin Highways 39 and 6 from North Portal to Regina, even though their lobbying efforts haven't yielded a favourable response from the provincial government.
Committee members held a meeting in early March to reflect on what they've done so far, and their plans for the future. They found they have accomplished a lot: meeting with politicians and Ministry of Highway officials, obtaining traffic numbers from SGI, and conducting their own traffic studies that include a breakdown on the different vehicle types and sizes.
They have also received surveys from people who live between North Portal and Milestone.
According to committee co-chair Lauralei Ireland, they have received about 250 surveys, comments and stories, and they continue to receive the surveys. They also had mini-petitions that were at many oil companies, hotels, gas stations and restaurants.
“We appreciate all this, because it's all going to be communicated to the Department of Highways,” Ireland said.
The surveys, petitions, traffic counts other information were supplied to former Highways Minister Jim Reiter during a meeting in 2011.
Ireland said she nearly lost several members of her family in a near-miss incident near Midale on March 2 – the day before the committee met. She said a careless oncoming driver caused the problem.
“That angers me,” Ireland said. “I'm so thankful that they are safe, but my son-in-law had to take to the ditch to avoid getting hit head-on.”
The committee's future plans include a new traffic study on Highways 39 and 47. It'll happen once road bans are finished. Committee members will also track the size of the vehicles.
They're also seeking a meeting with current Highways Minister Don McMorris, and they will create a Facebook page so that people can leave comments or horror stories on their Highway 39 experiences.
“I know there must be tones of harrowing experiences on the highway,” said Ireland. “We don't hear about them. I wish people would come forward.”
And they'll seek a meeting with Mayor Roy Ludwig to discuss the truck route and other highways issues in the region.
The committee has also raised the possibility of hosting a public forum, which McMorris would be invited to attend.
Ireland said they would like to see more people join the committee. Committee members know that they have a lot of support, thanks to the surveys and the feedback they have received.