Council address Mt. Baker crosswalk concerns

Installing signals at the Mount Baker crosswalk — which the school district has requested — would cost upwards of $80,000

  • Jan. 20, 2015 7:00 a.m.

Installing signals at the Mount Baker crosswalk — which the school district has requested —  would cost upwards of $80,000, according to the City of Cranbrook.

The City’s Engineering department provided the estimate in an update to council at the Monday, Jan. 19  meeting.

School District 5 put in a request recently to the city for the pedestrian-activated signalized crosswalk traffic control. That was reported in the Daily Townsman on Jan. 16.

“We have a request for a crosswalk at Mount Baker at 14th Avenue,” Chief Administrative Officer Wayne Staudt said.

The Engineering staff looked at the request — which is for the intersection of 14th Avenue and Baker Street — and found there would be some significant challenges.

“You can see our engineering department has gone through that request and has pointed out, I guess, some concerns that we have with the request,” Staudt said.

The primary concern he noted was the traffic delay that may happen as a result of the traffic signal being activated on a regular basis.

He also noted that cost was another big concern with the request. The estimated cost of installing the crosswalk is between $80,000 and $100,000.

The city engineers also found that that particular type of pedestrian signal is normally only installed on roadways of four lanes or more. 14th Avenue is a two lane roadway.

Also city staff noted the Pedestrian Crossing Manual for British Columbia states that a minimum spacing of 200 metres from an adjacent traffic control signal is the standard.

The adjacent traffic control signal at 2nd Street North and 14th Avenue is 170 metres away from the proposed pedestrian signal.

“You can see the potential for a traffic jam,” Staudt said. “So what Engineering is recommending is that (it) go back to the school district and work with school district administration and see if there’s some other alternative to making that a safe area for students to cross.”

Coun. Wesly Graham asked whether it might be possible to make the crosswalk more visible on the approach with markers or paint. Staudt replied that Engineering would take that into consideration.

Coun. Tom Shypitka agreed with the potential for a traffic jam down 14th Avenue.

“It could be almost backed up to the street light,” Shypitka said, referring to the 14th Avenue and 2nd Street North intersection.

Staudt said the issue is definitely problematic.

“We need to work through some options,” Staudt said.

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