November 11th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 44
Coleman stop sign causes a stir in council
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Source: Google Earth
77th Street and 27th Avenue, Coleman, Alberta, Canada
Pass Herald Reporter
For many years a stop sign was safely directing traffic at 77th Street and 27th Avenue in Coleman.

But when it was discovered the sign didn’t conform to government regulations it sparked an engineering review, upset residents and caused members of council to accuse Patrick Thomas, director of Planning, Engineering and Operations, of wasting taxpayers money.

The incident started during a signage review of the Pine View Park playground, it was observed that the intersection traffic controls at 77th Street and 27th Avenue in Coleman did not meet the Transportation Association of Canada’s (TAC) Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Canada (MUTCDC) guidelines. The site only had a stop sign for westbound traffic but the guidelines state there had to be controls for south and eastbound traffic.

It determined that a stop sign should be placed to control the southbound lane of 77th Street.

Council received several complaints from residents about the new sign and asked that it be removed. On Sept. 29, council decided to defer discussion of the sign until Nov. 3.

Instead administration hired ISL Engineering and Land Services Ltd. to do a report on the issue. Based on an Oct. 5 site visit, the report made a number of recommendations including installing three yield signs at the intersection.

At a meeting on Nov. 3, councillors Bill Kovach, Dave Filipuzzi and Dean Ward said they never asked administration to commission the report and criticized Patrick Thomas, director of Planning, Engineering and Operations for wasting taxpayers’ money.

“This started when I asked if we could get playground signs at Pine View Park,” said Filipuzzi. “[The report] was never a request of council, I want to make that clear… now we’ve probably got a pretty big bill for this.”
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“We had a stop sign there for decades and it was very safe,” said Kovach. “I can’t see any of ISLs recommendations making it any safer.”

The minutes from the Sept. 29 council meeting indicate Ward made the motion to defer the issue to a later meeting but do not mention an ISL study.

“Never once did I make a motion to get a traffic controller on to analysis by engineering, that was never part of my motion,” said Ward.

Ward asked that the cost of the ISL study be included in the Nov. 24 council package.

“We talk about spending and the money issues we have,” he said. “There are oodles of issues in this municipality, we don’t need to go looking for new ones.”

Some councillors discussed moving the sign back to its original location, where they said it had been for up to forty years, but Thomas insisted that traffic signage in the community had to adhere to MUTCDC guidelines.

A motion to install the three yield signs and another motion to put the stop sign back to where it was were both defeated and the issue will be brought back in the next council agenda.
November 11th ~ Vol. 85 No. 44
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