Concerns about speeds on Marshall Road surfaced last week as council considered a new recreation vehicle dealership at the site.
And while the new business location didn’t encounter any resistance at a public hearing, one neighbour warned that a new median that the city says must accompany the new facility will cause problems for trucks and other large vehicles speeding along the road.
Woody’s RV World hopes to relocate from its current location at the intersection of Marshall and Peardonville to a new site just west of the Clearbrook Road roundabout. The property, on Marshall Road, has room to park dozens of the vehicles, and the company has plans for a large dealership building. The land in question was conditionally excluded from the Agricultural Land Reserve more than a decade ago, and to proceed with the project, the developer must pay just shy of $200,000 into the city’s Agricultural Trust.
Woody’s proposal elicited no opposition at a public hearing last week, and council unanimously voted in favour of rezoning of the property. But one nearby business owner said he worried that adding a median to deter left-turns out of one driveway will just create new problems.
The city says a median must be built to prevent left turns from the dealership at a driveway on the east of the property, near a bend in Marshall Road. (Left turns into, and out of, the property will be permitted at a second, more western, entrance to the property.)
Engineers say the median is necessary because of traffic coming from Clearbrook Road will have reduced sight lines caused in the bend in the road. But Doug Bell, who operates a business nearby, says adding a median could pose a danger from eastbound traffic coming down the hill to the west.
“Right now it’s a speed zone, up and down that hill,” Bell said. “There’s dump trucks going up and down there fully loaded way too fast to go into that corner.”
Bell – who supported the dealership proposal – said the median is useful and will likely be needed by trucks that are travelling too fast and might need to avoid RVs pulling out from the property. He said locals have been waiting for a promised traffic signal that has been planned for, but not yet built, at the intersection Foy and Marshall roads.
Rob Isaac, the head of the city’s engineering department, said the city is waiting for contributions that will come from development of one of the surrounding properties.
As for the sight lines, Isaac said the city’s “traffic engineers felt that there was an issue there,” although he did not address the consequences of eastbound speeders.
Several councillors urged city officials to take a second look at the road to ensure the median doesn’t create further problems, but only Coun. Les Barkman opposed a motion approving the project, with the median.
“My preference as one councillor is to default to the expertise of our engineering department every time,” Coun. Dave Loewen said.
Mayor Henry Braun added that not dealing with the sightline issues could put the city at risk of a lawsuit.
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