Princeton (British Columbia) residents are concerned over talks that Highway 3 may be opened to any traffic that isn’t essential.
According to a report, the community claims that they are already dealing with an overwhelming volume of traffic since the community is the sole connection for commercial vehicles between the Lower Mainland and B.C. Interior.
Concerns about increased traffic as well as the speed of travelers and worries about accidents are increasing as the town struggles to recover after massive flooding.
“Even in the busiest weekend in the summertime with all the RV’s and everything, this is three times the volume. It’s tough,” resident Dave Brooks said.
He believes that essential travel restrictions should remain in effect for Highway 3.
“Because as soon as they start letting just anybody who wants to jump in their car and drive through here, that is just going to add to the troubles. There’s going to be all kinds of issues and accidents. People are just trying to get around in this town, live here and get water.”
Big White Ski Resort and the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association called on the provincial government to open Highway 3 for non-essential travel on Monday. They later on apologized after the backlash and stated that the remarks were forward-looking.
Tourism-related businesses may be facing a string of cancellations and no access for travel to the Lower Mainland. Meanwhile, the communities affected by the flooding are focused on getting back on their feet before travel is allowed.
“We can’t do it, we can barely maintain what we’re having with essential travel,” said Candice Quinnell, another Princeton resident.
While the direct route to the town’s center is restricted by closures to roads and detours, residents are concerned about the safety on the road.
At a press conference last Sunday, Transport Minister Rob Fleming affirmed that Highway 3 is open for essential travel and commercial vehicles only.