By Kenyon Stronski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Town council has started looking at new pedestrian crossings on 47th Street and Westview Gate. In the town’s 2022 budget, there is $9,000 allocated for the project.
The Traffic Committee recommended it would be good at Westview Gate with the new medical centre and the amount of traffic that passes through the area.
“I made the motion for 47th Street earlier. A lot of pedestrian traffic goes through there and it is quite hard to see when lots of vehicles are parked on 50th Avenue. I can see how both spots would work but I think most traffic will still be on 47th,” Coun. Jack Brewin commented at council’s regular meeting on Aug. 16.
“I travel 50th quite often and I think that to make a motion without any statistics is wrong,” noted Coun. Joe Strojwas. “I think we need some info on where to place it so we get the correct spot. There is lots of heavy traffic outside the town office. Perhaps we can ask the Traffic Committee to come back with statistics.”
“I think that with the playground going up, we’re going to need to jump on this when we can before someone gets hurt. I think there is a need for both Westview and 47th but one for sure,” Brewin replied.
Others on council explained other locations would be suitable.
“It has come up that there are several locations that could be suggested as problematic. I don’t know how many studies need to be done,” Mayor Andrew Prokop stated.
Prokop then asked Taber Police’s Inspector Howard Kehler to add to the conversation.
“The Traffic Committee has looked at many locations that could benefit from flashing lights. We may need to prioritize them and then we know exactly from year-to-year where they need to go. It is public safety and the more we can do to make our community safer is good for our community as a whole.”
“The town is getting busier, not quieter,” noted Prokop. “Maybe we should add more to the budget or whatever is practical. I think we have to revisit this realistically to do what’s best for our community as a whole.”
It was also commented that data gathered would be best once the school year starts up again in the fall.
“I like Inspector Kehler’s idea of prioritizing locations. I’m sure we all have an idea on which area could use one, but I would be in favour of looking at the data and prioritizing so we don’t have a debate about location every year,” said Coun. Carly Firth.
A motion was made for council to send info back to the Traffic Committee to see which intersections need it the most and was carried unanimously.
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