Getting from A to B in Agassiz

The District of Kent Transportation Network Plan is complete and ready for reference as the District plans future projects and plans.

The District of Kent Transportation Network Plan is complete and ready for reference as the District plans future projects and plans.

Nadine King, transportation engineer with Boulevard Transportation, presented the final report to District of Kent Council at a recent special Council meeting.

The scope of the project was to look at existing conditions as well as forward to 2040, explained King, “to ID existing deficiencies and future issues and concerns.”

Boulevard Transportation looked at the community’s road network, cross sections, traffic calming, site specific improvement options, active transportation and implementation.

In terms of traffic calming, King suggested that the District may need to look at tools such as speed readers, education and community programs like the ‘Hey Neighbour, Slow Down’ program which the District has adopted, as well as enforcement to help change behaviour.

The number one improvement suggested in Boulevard’s report is to provide an alternative access for traffic from south on Highway 9 to access the Lougheed Highway. King said obviously this will mean the Ministry of Transportation will need to be spearhead this project as it is a provincial intersection.

“It would be a significant benefit to the town centre / District of Kent,” said King.

They looked at options for traffic going through Mountain View Road towards the Lougheed Highway to bypass the town centre.

“This was brought forward by a lot of people at the open houses,” said King. Options presented include a right in / right out islands, enforcement and community programs or to cut off Mountain View from Fir Road.

Enforcement is important,” said Mayor John Van Laerhoven about the Mountain View traffic. “Education is probably more important than that.”

In terms of active transportation, Boulevard identified numerous locations to help improve transportation for pedestrians and cyclists, including increased bicycle signage, adding shoulders or separated paths for bikes and consider sidewalks on both sides of the road within 500 metres of schools and heavier pedestrian-use areas, such as to the town centre of towards the Community Recreation & Cultural Centre.

Of course, all these suggestions come at a cost. Boulevard’s estimation is if the District wanted to upgrade the urban roads to what’s called cross-section standards, including widening, sidewalks and bicycle facilities would be $2.2 million. To do the same on rural cross sections would be $6.8 million.

“The cross sections are the ideal – what we would like to have,” says King. “If we could build the ideal, these are costs.”

 

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For related story, see: Roads study provides ammunition