Traffic patterns

School by school report looks at vehicular issues in Cranbrook

The lunch hour crunch begins at the intersection of Baker Street and 14th Avenue

The lunch hour crunch begins at the intersection of Baker Street and 14th Avenue

School District 5 has released a comprehensive traffic study conducted in the City of Cranbrook to address concerns at each school and is looking for parent feedback.

Doug McPhee, director of instruction/safety, said the school board has been encouraged after trustee Patricia Whalen and Laurie Middle School principal David Standing successfully lobbied the City of Cranbrook to have school zones at the city’s middle schools reduced back to 30 kilometres and hour.

The city was supportive, and dropped the limits.

Now McPhee said it’s time to look at a number of safety concerns within the district, and he developed the detailed traffic study that is available on the district’s website.

“Theses are some of the things I’ve noticed that need to be addressed,” he said.

In the 26-page report, McPhee suggests improvements to all schools in Cranbrook in the district that could improve safety and addresses issues that weren’t around when schools were constructed in Cranbrook.

One of the most notable issues in the report is at the intersection of Baker Street and 14th Avenue South where hundreds of Mount Baker Secondary School students cross on a daily basis. that intersection can become extremely busy at lunch hour and before and after school.

“Unfortunately that’s a disaster waiting to happen,” McPhee said. “You can see the frustration on motorists.”

For that intersection, McPhee is suggesting a stoplight complete with pedestrian-operated crosswalk;  but he also admits that education is needed for the high school students using the crosswalk as well. This issue was brought up by trustee Chris Johns at the Tuesday, Dec. 11, regular board meeting.

“Each of the trustees is going to champion that issue in the school community,” McPhee said.

The district hopes to encourage Mount Baker students to use public transportation, which is easily accessible downtown.

Another concern at Mount Baker is the nearby Green Clinic that shares parking with Mount Baker students and staff.

“We have a lot of young drivers in there, so that’s kind of a difficulty,” McPhee said. “I’m not saying they’re bad drivers, but they may not be as cautious as others.”

Over the years the school community has changed, McPhee said. The introduction of French Immersion into Cranbrook has meant that some students no longer attend the school that is physically closest to their homes.

“Kids either walked to school, or they took the bus or rode their bikes,” McPhee said.

Now, more parents are opting to drop their kids off at school for a number of reasons – including the opportunity to spend more time with their children.

“It’s another 10 minutes they get to spend with their kids,” McPhee said.

But with the increase in drop-offs, McPhee said it has created a safety concern at elementary schools, as the three modes of transportation – walking, bus, and drop-off – are all happening in the same area.

“In some places, it’s not the safest,” he said.

The traffic report was accepted by the school board on December 11 at their regular meeting. McPhee said they are now getting the word out to parents and the community to solicit feedback before the report is implemented.

“It’s going to take awhile to germinate,” he said. “You need to have meaningful feedback.”

The issue will be brought before the school board again in February and an action plan will be formed from there. The board will meet with the city once they have collected all the public feedback. McPhee said the issues all most be addressed through a partnership.

“It’s not as unilateral as saying the city needs to do this,” McPhee said, adding that the report will be a great way to bring the issue to the city.

“That is an exceptional starting point.”

McPhee said there are serious financial implications for the school board and the City of Cranbrook, but also small projects that will simply require some paint and a bit of education, such as the creation of drop off zones.

The bottom line, McPhee said, is that there are traffic issues that must be addressed before an accident happens.

“We need to do something,” he said. “We welcome the input because by far the best solution is going to come from the engagement of the school population.”

The board has already been receiving feedback, and McPhee is happy to see it come in. The report can be viewed online at www.sd5.bc.ca.

“This is a positive move. I like the engagement levels,” McPhee said.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person altercation at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

Most Read