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June 11th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 23
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Province snubs crosswalk request
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
stock photo
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
At a meeting on June 3, council asked representatives from Alberta Transportation to install better signage near the community’s crosswalks, but the municipal leaders were advised not to hold their breath.
“The highway splits our community in half and we have our children crossing busy stretches of road with crosswalks that are poorly identified,” said Mayor Blair Painter of the crosswalks in Coleman.
“We’re not satisfied. We need to have this addressed. I’m fielding weekly phone calls from concerned parents whose kids are trying to cross the highway,” he said.
Council requested better signage, pedestrian crosswalk buttons and a traffic count on Highway 3 to get it placed higher on the list of the province’s prioritized roadways.
Firoz Kara, operations engineer with Alberta Transportation, told council the signage at the province’s crosswalks is determined by a function of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Kara checked with the Transportation Standards Branch in Edmonton, and estimates that approximately eight pedestrians per hour use a crosswalk in Coleman during peak hours; not enough to warrant new signage.
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Councillor Marlene Anctil said eight pedestrians is an underestimation, given that the crosswalk is in close proximity to a school.
Kara replied that he could initiate a traffic count.
Rick Lemire, maintenance contract inspector with Alberta Transportation, said the municipality is missing the necessary infrastructure for the installation of better signage. Provincial regulations identify the need for sidewalks at some crosswalks, which the crosswalks in Coleman do not have. In addition, there can be no parking within six meters of a crosswalk.
Alberta Transportation would still maintain the existing crosswalks but council would need to update the
community’s infrastructure if it wanted provincial help, said Lemire.
“It’s not just a matter of painting lines for a crosswalk, there’s a whole bunch of issues,” said Lemire. “They’re adequate the way we see them. There are some updates we could do on them, but it’s not just our infrastructure that has to be updated.”
“Where they are now is not the best but we feel it’s better than nothing,” said Lemire. Councillor Dave
Fillipuzzi, said the community has a major problem with traffic, especially on weekends. Local traffic had been unable to get onto the highway, he said.
“I don’t think this will be the last you hear from us,” said Councillor Fillipuzzi.
Lemire said the province does a monthly count, one at the B.C. border and another at Burmis, AB but said he would initiate a count at a suitable location.
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June 11th ~ Vol. 84 No. 23
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