Eagle Valley woman Kim Mildenstein urges action on traffic concerns

Eagle Valley woman urges action on traffic concerns by John Gleeson, November 8, 2011, Mountain View Gazette
An Eagle Valley woman is calling for Mountain View County and oil and gas companies to take prompt action to remedy ongoing traffic concerns in the area. Kim Mildenstein presented a list of requests and a litany of concerns when she met with county officials and Energy Resource Conservation Board representatives at the offices of the Sundre Petroleum Operators Group in Sundre on Monday, Oct. 31. Residents have been put at risk by excessive speeds, dangerous driving and the inordinate volume of traffic resulting from high oil and gas activity in the area, Mildenstein told the Gazette after the meeting. “One truck per minute per hour – that’s what our neighbour calculated,” Mildenstein said. “That was for four months straight, day and night. You can imagine how hard it was to sleep with the jake brakes going into the valley.”

Mildenstein said she filed at least 10 objections through the ERCB website after school buses returned to the roads this fall, and traffic has decreased since then.

Like neighbour Sharon Roth, who also attended the SPOG meeting and who appeared before council’s policies and priorities committee in September to voice concerns about traffic safety, Mildenstein lives near the intersection of Twp. Rd. 340 and Rge. Rd. 44. – identified in a county-commissioned engineering study as one of two unsafe intersections in the area (Twp. Rd. 340 and Rge. Rd. 43 is the other).

While major upgrades have been recommended for both intersections, Mildenstein said residents have asked the county to implement short-term solutions – including a reduced speed limit – in the meantime.

Her presentation also called for the ERCB to follow its directives on flaring and incineration and for companies to require drivers to post phone numbers on their vehicles and show respect to area residents. Many of her points were identical or similar to those raised by residents in early September at a public meeting in Eagle Hill.

In an interview Thursday, Reeve Bruce Beattie said the requests for the county are expected to be brought forward at P&P’s budget meeting this Tuesday when the two intersection projects are scheduled to be discussed. “Administration will make some recommendations and council will decide,” Beattie said. “We have to find some pragmatic ways to deal with this.” One of the suggestions that came out of the Oct. 31 meeting – by SPOG executive director Tracey McCrimmon – was for county council to appoint a member to the group, he said. “There’s certainly going to be a renewed effort by SPOG and ourselves” to work with the industry to address outstanding issues, he added. [Emphasis added]

[Refer also to: Fracking Canada: No Duty of Care

Fracking grievances aired at Eagle Hill, September 13, 2011 Willard said the ERCB “supports full disclosure” of chemicals used in the process, and added there would be an announcement later this month on the issue.]

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