Another serious accident on Macaulay Road in Black Creek has residents sounding the alarm.
The latest incident was a vehicle in the ditch Sunday July 17, on the blind corner of the 3300/3400 block of Macaulay Road.
It appeared that the vehicle tire caught on the road edge and caused the driver to lose control. Oyster River Fire Rescue volunteers and the RCMP attended. There were no serious injuries.
“This is the fourth serious accident that has happened on that corner in recent years,” said Suzanne Sawyer, chair of the Macaulay Road and Area Neighbourhood Association (MRANA). “Macaulay Road is over 17 kilometres long, with no exit. It was an old logging road that was paved in the 1980s and now with five subdivisions using this road as their only access, it has become increasingly problematic for the residents and the amount of traffic using the singular road.”
MRANA members have been surveyed on road safety issues and this corner was identified by one of the members as: “6.4 km turn before the intersection at Martin Park, 3300 to 3500 block – blind corner before Martin Park Road – traffic slides off road into ditches, hydro poles close to the road on one side, no shoulders – heading east on Macaulay, the corner just past Martin Park is banked wrong, and when it is icy, it is extremely dangerous.”
MRANA directors met with Ashley Cousens, area manager, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and identified problematic areas last November. MRANA directors were informed that these areas would be reviewed by engineers and the Comox Valley Regional District elected directors motioned to establish a planning committee with MOTI to look at planning for permanent alternate road access.
CVRD chief administrative officer James Warren confirmed that the Electoral Areas Services Committee approved the following at a November 2021 meeting:
“That staff work with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to develop the terms of reference and costs to complete a report to identify future alternative public access for Macaulay Road for consideration in the 2022-2026 budget planning process.”
Warren expects a report to be filed before the end of the summer.
“My understanding is that this work, with MOTI, is still progressing and a report to the EASC on alternative public access for Macaulay Road is expected in August or September of this year,” he said.
While residents are hopeful of improvement in the infrastructure, Oyster River Fire Chief Bruce Green says the majority of accidents along this stretch of road are simple enough to avoid.
“Speed is the biggest factor in these things, and driving with undue care and attention,” said Green. “Slow down and pay attention to driving – and drive to the road conditions. This is an issue not just with this stretch of road, but all up and down Macaulay Road in general.”
Green sai there is an emergency access route available to emergency vehicles
Black Press has reached out to the ministry for comment.
-with files from MRANA