Youbou residents raise safety concerns over increased traffic due to Highway 4 closure

Youbou residents raise safety concerns over increased traffic due to Highway 4 closure
Residents say Youbou Road is seeing more traffic

People in in the tiny town of Youbou are raising concerns about the extra traffic going through their community as people drive the detour route to or from Port Alberni with the Highway 4 closure.

The detour route to the west coast communities has been in place in June 7th.

They say with people walking along the side of the road and plenty of elk crossings, driver’s need to slow down and they’ve seen a marked change in the traffic since the alternate route was given the green light.

“Constant traffic and a lot of crazy drivers too they just rip through,” said Yvette Gabrall, a Youbou resident.

Tim Abbott another Youbou resident agrees. “They all speed. I’m surprised they don’t have more speed traps up here. I walk up and down this highway every day two three times a day and I’m nervous.”

They say driver’s aren’t adhering to the speed limit which drops down to 50 kilometers an hour through their town.

People say they have seen some stepped up speed enforcement in recent days along Youbou road and an officer had a car pulled over to the side Wednesday but there’s another big concern.

“The concerns are we have a big elk population here and we have a few favourite elk that basically wonder the streets and walk back and forth along the streets on the road,” said Patrick Miller, Co-owner of Cassy’s Coffee House.

“They probably don’t know that we have elk here and they just jump into the road and I’m just waiting for a bad accident to happen,” said Gabrall.

There is a bright side to all that extra traffic. At Cassy’s Coffee house they’ve seen a bump in business since the alternate route opened.

“We’ve settled in at about 10 per cent higher,” said Miller.

Miller believes most are adhering to the rules of the road but people in Youbou agree the speeders need a special warning

“Watch out for elk and don’t speed especially in Youbou,” said Abbott.

People are also reminding those passing through, who may have never seen elk in the wild before, not to feed them.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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