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Weather and roads always a hot topic

Dec 17, 2013 10:48 am | Janice Huser

After driving down quite a few miles worth of back roads Saturday night, it was a welcome relief to get home safe. A weekís worth of snow seems to have piled up in many places lately and having a truck has come in handy this winter.

After a few minutes at home, we quickly realized just how lucky we were to arrive home when we did as we heard an unusual sound tapping on our living room windows. Had it been the middle of August, the sound wouldnít have been out of the ordinary, but hearing rain when itís -15 degrees Celsius outside is an odd feeling.

And although the weather always seems to be one of the top stories in Alberta, weird weather is being seen across the globe. Even Egypt has experienced some of the fluffy white stuff this year.

Along with the weather comes the topic of driving. Whether you live in a rural or urban area, if you live in Alberta you most likely rely on a vehicle to get you from point A to point B in any season.

Much like the other night, I often find myself taking back roads from home to town, or various other places. When the snow falls, people (even those who have lived in Alberta their whole lives) seem to lack a bit of logic.

But, I will take snowy, blizzard-like conditions on a quiet highway or back road, even if I canít differentiate the ditch from the field, rather than driving on slippery and slushy city roads any day, and after experiencing both those conditions last week, I will stand by that statement.

Driving in a small town can be frustrating too though. Thereís always someone driving too slow or too fast through a school zone. Someone who neglects to stop or yield or someone who just doesnít understand what a green turning light means.

And that brings me to what seems to be a pretty big issue in many peopleís minds lately Ė the new turning light installed on main street in St. Paul. This light seems to have caused quite a bit of confusion and frustration for a number of people.

The reaction to a simple light is a bit surprising though. The light probably isnít the best system to have in place, but Iím going to assume it was the quickest way to address a concern being expressed by local bus drivers that use that intersection.

I have certainly sat at that intersection prior to the new light being installed and watched people attempt unsafe turns in all sorts of weather conditions. Is the new light the best solution? Iím not sure. And it remains to be seen how the town will address the concerns now being expressed by residents.

Installing the light in the middle of winter was probably adding chaos to more chaos. But, in the end, it takes under 10 minutes to get from anywhere to anywhere in St. Paul, even with the new turning light and my passive driving habits taken into account. I think we can all live with a bit more control on our streets, even if it costs us a few extra seconds.


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