July 20th, 2016 ~ Vol. 85 No. 29
Traffic lights could be coming to Tim Horton’s turnoff
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Artist mockup
Pass Herald Staff
After several councils and several years of lobbying, the provincial government might be installing traffic lights at the west end of Blairmore.

In June the municipality received word from Alberta Transport that funding was available in the 2016/17 provincial fiscal year to install one set of traffic signals either on 20th Ave. in Blairmore by the Tim Hortons turn off or at 107 Street, the turnoff access to the hospital.

It is up to the discretion of municipal council, with consultation by administration, on which access is best for the lights.

The two intersections could be signalized to allow for protected turning movements primarily for entering onto the highway for westbound traffic.

At the GPC meeting administration outlines both pros and cons to the different intersections.

Regarding 20th Ave. (the Tim Hortons) turn off onto Hwy 3. According to Patrick Thomas, Director of Development, Engineering & Operations, this turning lane is the highest volume intersection due to adjacent commercial development. He noted that the intersection is a skewed one which causes a sight line restriction. One of the cons of using this site is that if the highway is redeveloped in the future the lights would be a complete throwaway. Thomas also noted that traffic queues may affect 107 St. and result in implementation of right in/right out control.
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According to Thomas, the pros of choosing 107 St. include future commercial development at the old hospital site, which may see larger traffic volumes from locals not wanting to access the 20th Ave. light. Emergency pre-emption equipment at 107 St. traffic signal could benefit Ambulance/EMS access/ egress from the hospital. This site also provides better ancillary activities for the golf course. Thomas also noted that if a Hwy 3 realignment takes place it will not affect this intersection, so it will not be a ‘throw away’.

Thomas noted that both locations have positive impact during peak hours and a negative impact during off-peak periods. For those travelling westward from Blairmore they will encounter a traffic signal no matter which access they egress from Blairmore if the signal is located at 20th Ave. If the signal is located at 107 St., the westbound movement from 20th Ave. will have a better level of service during off-peak periods allowing vehicles to egress as they do currently.
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At the end of the presentation Councillor Kovach noted, “I understand that there are very few accidents at 107 St., however there have been at least 5 accidents this year at the 20th Ave. turnoff”.

Councillor Ward stated, “stay with 20th Ave. It’s an accident waiting to happen interesction. There will way more traffic on 20th Ave. compared to 107th St.”.

Mayor Painted noted that the stop light system can be adjusted based on daylight movement and peak holidays movement helping local traffic move”.
July 20th ~ Vol. 85 No. 29
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