Road condition maps hurting tourism?

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The road condition maps on the Weather Network need updating, says Dennis Barton of Slave Lake. Why? Because they don’t include Hwy. 754 (from Hwy. 88 to Wabasca), Hwy. 750 (Grouard to Hwy. 88) or Hwy. 686 (Red Earth Creek to Peace River).
“That’s two thirds of the province!” says Dennis, in what might be a bit of an exaggeration. “Tourists look at that map and think there aren’t paved roads there!”
It shouldn’t take that much to close those gaps on the road condition maps. The highways in question are not less important, or less paved, than the ones that do show up on the Weather Network maps. Road conditions for them must be just as available.
Barton’s view is that the situation is hurting communities by giving travellers the wrong impression. Therefore, it should be a matter of concern for Chambers of Commerce. His idea is that the Chambers from Slave Lake, High Prairie and Peace River should get together and make a united lobby effort on it.
It’s worth noting, perhaps, that the 511 Alberta online road condition map does include the roads that are missing from the Weather Network map. It has more information as well – places where construction is happening, for example, and is the one recommended by your municipal governments.
However, it’s fair to assume – as Barton does – that many people glance at the Weather Network map and make their travel decisions based on what it shows.


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