Stanley Park and township roads to see new speed limits

The 70km/h speed limit in place because of construction will become permanent on the township road. (GREG VANDERMEULEN/Winkler Times)

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A revised traffic bylaw that will bring speeds down on some R.M. of Stanley roads was given first reading at the July 11, council meeting.
They bylaw calls for a 70 km/h speed limit on the entire township road, (the gravel road that runs from Winkler to Morden parallel to Hwy. 14/3, one mile south. All roads from the four lane highway south to the township road will also be reduced to 70 km/h.
Reeve Morris Olafson said they want to prevent accidents.
“One of the major reasons… was the safety on that road,” he said.
Olafson said they’ve checked speeds and realize some people were driving dangerously, up to 150 km/h. Like any other rural road where the speed is not posted, the current limit is 90 km/h.
Olafson said they’re also doing it to save the road and some lives along the way.
“We’re slowing that whole thing down,” he said.
He said he anticipates they may get some negative reaction to the change.
“I guess maybe we’re going to get some balking of this a little bit, but in reality if you drive that road on a regular basis, you’ll know what I mean when I say, you’ve got to be careful out there,” he said. “It’s not a four-lane highway and it’s being treated as such… it is a gravel road.”
Also seeing a speed reduction is the road to Stanley Park from Hwy. 432. The speed on that road will be reduced to 70 km/h, while the portion that runs directly past the park will be reduced to 50 km/h. Olafson said as the part gets busier it’s important to keep things safe. “We’ve got tremendous usage of that facility. It’s booked every weekend, it’s full,” he said.
The park includes a camper area, tent area and general use areas. Keeping speeds down will also help keep dust down, and Olafson said that makes driving safer.
He offered some advice to motorists on the more well-travelled roads in the municipality. “Give yourself some space,” he said.
The bylaw requires second and third reading before it becomes law.