BY TREENA MIELKE
The Centennial Street and 50th Avenue intersection could be realigned by next year if the design process works out.
At its Monday meeting council agreed to direct staff to proceed with plans for the angled realignment of the intersection which includes angle parking along 50th Ave.
Mayor Sean McIntyre said council would prefer to make plans for an even alignment, but to do so would cut into the 30-metre buffer from the railroad tracks.
“If we pushed the issue, we might not get the intersection and we stand to lose a very valuable parking lot,” said McIntyre after the meeting.
“As a kid growing up I always imagined I’d do something about that intersection,” he said.
While he sees an angled realignment as a less desirable option than a straight intersection, he notes it will straighten out the traffic.
“It will make the traffic movement more predictable for drivers,” he said.
The proposed alignment will include islands and lines on the street designed to make the crossing safer and more efficient for vehicles and pedestrians.
Town staff will work with Transport Canada to design a suitable option.
“We want to improve the situation, we don’t want status quo,” said McIntyre.
Previously, council had looked into other options such as a traditional roundabout and a mini roundabout, but neither of these plans were viable as they encroached on the 30-metre buffer.
Transport Canada is the approving authority in this matter and the body to which the Town will need to make application for intersection realignment. Transport Canada relies on input from CN Rail, who did not support the initial realignment plans.