Problematic Manuels crosswalk under review

By Chris Lewis | April 8, 2021

A crosswalk in Manuels has been called a ‘struggle’ by CBS council, and they hope to work toward a solution this year.

The crosswalk, located near the Manuels River Centre and trails, is one that many members of council, including Mayor Terry French, admitted is in need of changes to make it easier for people looking to cross the road in that area.

The crosswalk runs through four lanes of traffic near Manuel’s Bridge, one of the busiest places in town, which makes it difficult for those on foot to find an opportune time to cross the road.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, Mayor French said council has struggled with this crosswalk for some time, but may finally have come upon a solution in the form of a pedestrian activated traffic signal.

To that end, council is hiring Harbourside Transportation Consultants to complete an engineering design for the signal. That will come at a cost of $13,970 plus HST.

Ward 3 councillor Gerard Tilley said the initial assessment includes an updated count of pedestrian movements and vehicle volumes.

The idea for a pedestrian activated signal was recommended by Harbourside following an assessment of the area.

Tilley said the engineering design will determine any impacts the signal will have on neighbouring intersections and traffic lights.

Ward 1 councillor Darrin Bent said he has heard concerns about the crosswalk from a number of residents and noted the area is getting busier over time.

“People are taking advantage of the beautiful trails and are able to come through that section,” Bent said. “It really came into focus this winter when we had our lighted walk down there … a lot of people raised concerns about (the crosswalk) because of the traffic and the number of pedestrians. I think it’s long overdue but I’m glad this is coming to a bit of a fruition.”

French said there is a lot more activity at this crosswalk than at the average crosswalk, with a lot of moving parts, including four lanes of traffic and traffic lights nearby. That’s why council thought it important to bring in a consultant.

“It will take us a bit of time,” French said. “So, for those who are using the intersection over the next number of months, please be careful. If you can do it at all, please use the underpass that goes under the bridge instead of walking across four lanes of traffic. It’s tough enough to do that anywhere, even with crosswalks. It’s a whole set of complications, so please keep an eye out.”

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