Letter: MLA speaks on Cardiff Interchange solution

Dear Constituents:

I would like to take this opportunity to shed light on the facts surrounding the recent announcement to install a new traffic light at the intersection of Highway 2 and Cardiff Road.
Over the last 13 years, there has been an average of eight collisions annually at the intersection of Highway 2 and Cardiff Road. Alberta Transportation has installed several safety measures in the last decade to protect commuters at this location, including warning signs and lights, a speed limit reduction, and acceleration and deceleration lanes. Driver behavior and safety has been monitored at this location for many years, and the Government of Alberta will continue to do so to protect Albertans.

Traffic volume on Highway 2 near Cardiff Road has increased more than 30 per cent in the past decade as more families and businesses join the growing communities of Sturgeon County and Morinville. On Nov. 18 Minister McIver and I met with Sturgeon County and the Town of Morinville to discuss desirable options for the Cardiff Road intersection.
After our conversations it was determined that the desired outcome was not to close the intersection, but to improve the existing infrastructure to both allow this intersection to remain open and protect public safety.

Once designed and tendered, construction of the $2 million project is anticipated to begin in the spring of 2014. Installing signals is expected to reduce the collision rate by 44 per cent, allowing for long-term planning to continue into the future.

This is another example of how the Government of Alberta is working with local municipalities to identify community priorities and take action to meet the needs of families and communities.

Over the past 18 months I have heard diligent concerns from many residents of the Morinville area regarding this issue. The vast majority want the safety concerns addressed as soon as possible and that is what I have been advocating for these many months. I am so pleased that we are going to see a safe solution very soon. As your MLA, I will continue to work to ensure that the needs of our community are being met.

Maureen Kubinec,
MLA Barrhead.Morinville.Westlock

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  1. Madame Kubinec:

    I really don’t know what opiate you’ve been imbibing, but I think I want some.

    First of all, the speed limit along Highway 2 at the subject intersection, in both directions, is 100Kph. You have stated that one thing YOUR government has done to mitigate the safety problem here has been to introduce: “…a speed limit reduction…”.

    Pray tell, O illustrious MLA of ours, just what the hell was the limit before the Government of Alberta introduced this reduction??

    You have also repeated an oft-used Government mantra: “…Installing signals is expected to reduce the collision rate by 44 per cent, allowing for long-term planning to continue into the future…”

    Pray tell, O illustrious MLA of ours, out of whose rectum was THIS statistic drawn?

    Finally, the ONE point of clarification you FAILED (yet AGAIN!) to make was: “Who LIED to the citizens of both Morinville and Sturgeon County concerning the confidentiality of the options being discussed before the “Great Decision” was tendered?”

    Yes Madame, please, PLEASE “…continue to work to ensure that the needs of our community are being met.” We surely need your sage wisdom to further our needs.

    It’s OK folks, 2016 isn’t THAT far away!

    Have a nice day.

  2. Jim. Your freedom of speech is not in question, but the way in which you belittle and disrespect Maureen in your post is disappointing and you should be ashamed of yourself.

    Your inability to communicate the fact you disagree with an opinion, without making a personal attack is mind-boggling. Your comments suggesting illicit drug use, belittling language such as “O illustrious MLA”, and references to the rectal cavity are disgusting. I am embarrassed for you and everyone else that has to read your filth.

    In addition, the way you treat a woman of our community, regardless of disagreement, shows a lack of class and the kind of disrespect toward women that I will not allow to go forward unattested. I will also be sure to share your comment here with respected women of this community to see how they feel of your demeaning and rude behaviour.

  3. I agree with Mr OBrien’s comments. This seems like another case of the govt throwing our own money at a problem to hopefully shut us up. The supposed confidentiality held before announcing said decision says a LOT about how much this govt really wants to hear from concerned citizens.

  4. Susan I completely agree. I for one am thankful that our town residents were wise enough to not elect this hopeful candidate in the last election. I cannot imagine the disaster that would ensue if James was one of our voices on council. He certainly wouldn’t be speaking on my behalf with that mouth unless it was washed out with soap first. I understand your passion James, and this topic and the proposed interim solution is very important, but verbally attacking and bullying our MLA and councill will get you nowhere. Is there perhaps a way to redirect your passion in a more constructive way?

  5. Susan:

    You are, of course, entitled to your opinion – as is everyone within our community.

    I’m really sorry you feel I am ‘mistreating’ a woman of our community, for this has absolutely nothing to do with our MLA’s sex and everything to do with my perception of her ability, honesty and integrity. Be very aware that I would say exactly the same things, and in the same manner, if our MLA were male and showed a similar disregard for the questions being asked by many citizens of Morinville and Sturgeon County.

    Please don’t try to turn this issue into something it is not. The facts of the matter remain: (1) The Provincial Government apparently did NOT lower the speed limit on Highway 2 at the Cardiff intersection; (2) NOBODY can say by how much, if at all, collision rates at that location might be reduced once traffic lights are installed; and (3) Someone DID lie to us concerning the confidentiality of the option being considered.

    I am really quite sick and tired of not getting straight-forward and simple answers to straight-forward and simple questions. Susan, if you think you can get the information by any other means – go for it and please let the rest of us know the answers because I, and others have tried to “play nice”, to no avail.

    Have a nice day.

  6. I’m afraid I roll with Jim on this one with the exception of the constant thumping on the mayor and town council.

    The honourable MLA referenced a speed reduction at the intersection. The current posted speed is the same as it is along the rest of the highway. So unless we used to speed up for that intersection, the lady is at best unfamiliar with this area of her constituency.

    Further, their studies anticipate a 44% reduction in traffic accidents is expected. Doing away with fractions and using the current average of 8 accidents a year we will on average have first responders headed to that corner every two months.

    That’s a high likelihood that every two months someone from this community, or one near by, is going to get pasted.

    Could be my wife and kids, could be yours.

    You tell me if 44% is acceptable.


    Thomas Kirsop

  7. Thank you Susan, for articulating what so many of us are thinking.

    James O’Brien, while some of your comments of concern are justified, they are very much clouded by your bitterness and anger. The way you consistently attack our MLA and Mayor is outright disgusting. Some might even say you are treading the waters of defamation of character.

    I am thankful you are not one of seven sitting behind the Council desk to help lead our Town into the future.
    So very thankful.

  8. The intersection worked well before they made “improvements” of adding the concrete barriers. What this improvement has done is blocked the view of oncoming traffic in the first lane if there are cars turning right. All that needs to be done is to move the right turning lane over a few feet or repaint the lines further to the right to provide an unobstructed view to the drivers trying to turn south onto Hwy 2.
    Installing traffic lights is not the answer. There will continue to be collisions as people run red lights especially if the sequencing of the lights is not set up to allow for flow of traffic.
    James Obrien – this is exactly why you didn’t get my vote for Council. You need to learn how to communicate a dissenting opinion without attacking the other person.

  9. James once AGAIN you give Morinville a great reason to NEVER vote you into council!! You do not speak for Morinville. Your attitude and opinion will never change MY vote.I am a woman and I have a brain. Your attitude towards women in power shows that you are stuck in the 1950’s. Come into the present where women are Smart, Strong and Educated members of society. Stop belittling them to make yourself feel good.

  10. Okay it is Christmas let us focus on the good things that happen in Morinville.

    Stop and let us look to the future and not dwell on what is or what might have been.

    You must all go to the St Jean Baptitse Park tonight at 7:00 for a time out and reflect on the comments made today.

    Does it sound like a community working together?

    Look around the town and think about what Morinville was and looked like in December 1913.

    Life is good, have a Safe and Merry Christmas! Ron Cust

  11. I just want to comment that I have known James O’Brien for quite a while now and I’m proud to call him my friend. He is one of the most honest people I know. He attends most of the Council meetings and almost all of any of the “open” houses held on the various issues going on in this town. Is he a little rough around the edges? Maybe – but one that I would be happy to see sit in the Council chambers as a Councillor as I know that he would put his heart into the job. In closing they said my father who was a farmer(George Lyons) was a little rough around the edges and what I remember about him was he always said to anyone who would listen (especially politicians)and I quote: “Why call it manure? Shit is shit so call it what it is.”

    I also agree with Ron Cust’s comment – there are many good things around in town and I have lived here for 27 years and love it. So may we all have a very Merry Christmas.
    Linda Lyons

  12. I, like it would seem most other people, remain more than a little skeptical that the traffic light solution is a good one for the interchange, that due diligence was used in arriving at this decision, or even that this decision was based on solid facts and data.

    The first red flag is the 44% reduction in collision rate that is always paraded out without explanation. First off, the significant digits in 44% implies a statistical accuracy that I doubt is even there. “About 50%” (if this is even true) would be a much more appropriate claim to make, and the fact that it continues to be quoted specifically as 44% implies that those who quote it have no real idea of how that number is derived, and in consequence, if it is even a reasonably accurate prediction to make. And you’d hope that decisions where potential lives are at stake would be made by those who have a good idea of the details upon which those decisions are made.

    For statistics to have any meaning at all, we have to know how they are derived. Is this number derived purely on speculation? Or is there hard data on how accident rates have been improved when such changes are done to interchanges? If that is the case, how “similar” are the other interchanges and traffic flows to this one? Are they relevant at all to make in a comparison? For that matter, how many interchanges in rural Alberta have a traffic light on a divided highway? For this statistic to be meaningful at all, we need to know what other interchanges were studied to come up with it, and with that, the standard deviation in collision reduction rate, population sample size, as well as the average. Otherwise, 44% is just a number that someone picked out of a hat.

    And for that matter, is there a politician willing to stick their neck out to claim that a 44% reduction in collisions is “good enough” for governments claiming that safety is their number one priority, when it’s clear we could do far better… even if their 44% claim is accurate, which seems doubtful.

    A second issue that should be explored is that though the conversation is always about how Morinville residents will benefit from improved safety at the corner, more traffic goes through the intersection rather than turn into or out of Morinville. The safety of through traffic has to be considered as well. Has the inevitable increase in rear end collisions caused by through traffic slowing down for a red light been considered? I fear that the traffic light may make the collision rate worse instead of better for this reason.

    Of course, with advance lighting, such collisions *shouldn’t* occur. But neither should collisions from turning traffic out of Morinville. Both happen inevitably from drivers not paying the attention they should. And since this isn’t a perfect world, they *will* happen. And especially when road conditions are treacherous and people driving substantially slower than the posted speed limit, it’s easy for people to be past the advance light without it providing a warning and still hit the red light when they get to the interchange. Road conditions which would lead to this situation are precisely those which will cause problems in the first place.

    It’s also worrisome that our MLA mentions a speed limit reduction at the corner that had been done in the past, when no such reduction has ever been implemented. It implies that she isn’t really familiar with the situation, where in this circumstance, I would hope that people making the decisions of what’s “best” for the situation would instead really have a good understanding of it.

    I, like many others, remain skeptical that the $2 million allocated to the project is best spent by adding a few lights (and think that if this is what lights would cost, I’m definitely in the wrong business). Instead, that $2 million would be much better spent going towards a proper solution. An interchange isn’t even necessarily – a simple move of the right turning lane on Highway 2 further to the east to form an “off ramp” that doesn’t block the view of people entering the southbound land of the highway from Morinville would solve almost all of the problem there.

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