Low light conditions along Highway 18 don’t give motorists much of a chance to avoid collisions with elk. (Malcolm Chalmers photo)

Low light conditions along Highway 18 don’t give motorists much of a chance to avoid collisions with elk. (Malcolm Chalmers photo)

What you said: the solutions to the Highway 18 elk situation are varied

Is it the speed of drivers, the at-times-blind corners, or the poor lighting?

Is it the speed of drivers, the at-times-blind corners, or the poor lighting? What’s to blame for the collisions with elk on Highway 18?

Feedback to the Citizen’s Dec. 2 story entitled “Support growing for wildlife fencing, lights on Cowichan’s Highway 18” was swift after the paper posted the story on Facebook.

SEE RELATED: Support growing for wildlife fencing, lights on Cowichan’s Highway 18

“Been driving Hwy 18 for years day and night elk or no elk. Slow down pay attention is all you can do. Only solution possible is slowing down the speed limit!” wrote Jody Lee Chrysler.

“Lights and lower speed,” added Lindsay House. “Or lower speed for night and fog. Daytime 100[km/hr] is ok but dark rain fog it’s scary.”

Rudy Heisler and Ray Mead understood the scope of the situation and know the answer isn’t simple.

“Overpasses would be great, but cost upwards of $5 million each, and would need fencing to funnel the wildlife into those overpasses, another large expense,” wrote Heisler. “Those dollars would have to come from taxpayers.”

Mead’s idea was more practical.

”I have to assume in most cases the accidents happen when the animal darts out of the brush right beside the road not giving enough time to react,” he wrote. “Clearing the side of the road so people have time to see them with maybe some lighting in certain places would probably help the most.”

Dale Doebert agreed.

“The best drivers driving the speed limit can still have crashes anywhere around here,” Doebert said. “My suggestion is to clear back the roadways from trees and brush like many other parts of Canada have done. this gives the driver and the animal a lot more time to avoid each other.”

Cindy Williams said in all her years in the area, collisions with elk have never been so prevalent.

“I grew up in Lake Cowichan and drove that highway not only many years with my parents but on my own,” she wrote “There have always been elk but never any accidents until they upped the speed limit and more people have moved there and Youbou….slow it down! Drop the speed limit!”

Kayton Hester called for a shifting speed limit on the highway.

“Make this a variable speed corridor like the Coquihalla. 100 during day 80 during night. Wouldn’t that make sense? Then they can also warn and adjust to weather conditions,” Hester wrote. “I’d rather the family take 20 minutes longer to get home then never come home.”

Preston Schedel doesn’t see a real solution at all.

“Everyone likes to blame it on speed, or drivers. But what most of you people don’t understand is the herds are larger than ever. They are more abundant also bringing the likely crash numbers up,” Schedel wrote. “They stay around the towns and highways because the wolves and cougars tend to avoid the public areas and with our conservation efforts their numbers will only continue to grow. The highway speed won’t change a bloody thing seeing as a surprise elk is a surprise elk. If they clear the shoulders like they have up island and bring in a cow guard like fence even then you’re still going to have issues! What do you expect a fence from highway 18/ TCH connector to the end of Youbou? Not likely!”

What’s the solution? It seems to depend on who you ask. Authorities have thus far not made any changes, though they do say the Highway 18 elk situation is being looked into.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kendra Thomas from Warmland Women’s Support Services invites Cowichan residents to find out more about youth sex trafficking with an online event Nov. 16, 2020. (File photo)
Learn more about youth sex trafficking with ‘Love Bombing 101’

Nov. 22-28 is Victims and Survivors of Crime Week

Pnina Benyamini loved to be around people and people loved her. (Photo submitted)
Many facets to energetic Chemainus woman’s legacy

Benyamini taught yoga, belly dancing and more to an adoring public

Windy conditions in Nanaimo’s Lost Lake area. (News Bulletin file photo)
Wind warning issued for the east coast of Vancouver Island

Environment Canada says people ‘should be on the lookout’ for adverse weather conditions

Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone has been re-elected as chairman of the board at the CVRD. (File photo)
Aaron Stone re-elected as chairman of the Cowichan Valley Regional District

Blaise Salmon, director for Mill Bay/Malahat, elected as new vice-chairman

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. daily COVID-19 cases hits record 941 on Tuesday

Further restrictions on indoor exercise take effect

(Pixabay.com)
Man, 28, warned by Kootenay police to stop asking people to marry him

A woman initially reported the incident to police before they discovered others had been popped the question

Winston Blackmore (left) and James Oler (right) were sentenced on separate charges of polygamy this week in Cranbrook Supreme Court.
No more charges expected in Bountiful investigation, special prosecutor says

Special prosecutor says mandate has ended following review of evidence from Bountiful investigations

(Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Refuse to follow B.C.’s mask mandate? Face a $230 fine

Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older

Parksville’s French Creek Harbour experienced a diesel spill on Nov. 23 after a barge and fishing vessel collided. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Coast Guard cleans up diesel spill in Parksville’s French Creek Harbour

Barge carrying fuel truck collides with fishing vessel

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Stock photo
Senior from Gibsons caught viewing child porn sentenced to 10 months

74-year-old pleaded guilty after police seized 1,500-2,500 images

BC Teachers' Federation President Teri Mooring is asking parents of school-aged children to encourage the wearing of masks when possible in schools. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
LETTER: Teachers union encourages culture of mask wearing in B.C. schools

BCTF President Teri Mooring asks parents to talk with children about wearing masks in school

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speak to the media about the COVID-19 virus outside Rideau Cottage in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s inability to manufacture vaccines in-house will delay distribution: Trudeau

First doses of COVID-19 vaccine expected in first few months of 2021, prime minister says

Most Read