City plans to pay half of MBSS crosswalk signs

The City of Cranbrook is pursuing a cost-sharing agreement with School District 5 on crossing signs for the Mount Baker crosswalk.

The City of Cranbrook is pursuing a cost-sharing agreement with School District 5 on crossing signs for the Mount Baker crosswalk on 14th Avenue.

The signs will be high intensity, illuminated school zone signs that will cost an estimated $5,400.  That means if the cost is shared 50/50 as planned the city would end up paying $2,700.

At Monday’s meeting, Coun. Tom Shypitka said he thought it was a good idea.

“For a 50/50 cost share of $2,700, we’re covering our butts pretty good and I think it’s something we should go ahead with,” Shypitka said. Council did approve the recommendation.

At the January 19 council meeting the school district had sent a request for a crosswalk similar to the one on Victoria Avenue and 4th Street North to be installed at the location.

CAO Staudt noted city staff advised against that original crosswalk proposal because of cost and other concerns, such as traffic backup.

“What we said we would do is get ahead with the school district and work with their staff,” Staudt said. “This is the recommendation coming out of a joint meeting between their staff and our staff.”

Also included in the staff report was ICBC crash data from 2006 and 2013. The data showed two collisions at the location — both traffic incidents involved the first vehicle stopping for pedestrians and being rear-ended by the following vehicle that failed to stop.

Coun. Ron Popoff asked whether that was taken into in the recommendation.

“How relevant is that data?” Popoff asked.

Eric Sharpe, Director of Engineering, said it is not that relevant to the recommendation, and was included more for reference data.

“It is by no means what would be considered a high-collision area,” Sharpe said.

The discussions with the school district staff identified vehicle speed in the school zone as one problem at the location.

Engineering Services and the school district agreed that the solar powered, high intensity, flashing LED lit school zone signs on 14th Avenue would greatly enhance driver awareness of the school zone. The illuminated signs would have controllers that allow for the programming of the signs to flash on the corresponding days and times when the school zone is in effect.

The approved recommendation was for council to direct city administration to pursue a cost starting agreement with SD5. The cost would still need to be added to the 2015 budget.