No traffic light needed, according to staff report

Lubert van der Laan watches traffic whiz by on Whatcom Road at Mountain Drive Thursday afternoon. Van der Laan is among of group of residents who want traffic safety measures at the intersection.

Lubert van der Laan watches traffic whiz by on Whatcom Road at Mountain Drive Thursday afternoon. Van der Laan is among of group of residents who want traffic safety measures at the intersection.

City staff are recommending traffic pattern changes for the intersection of Whatcom Road and Mountain Drive, but a traffic light isn’t among them.

The report, which council is scheduled to vote on this afternoon (Monday April 18), was in response to a request by local residents for a light at what they say is a dangerous intersection.

Instead, staff have suggested that left-turns be prohibited from Mountain Drive onto Whatcom Road, including the creation of a raised median to prevent illegal left turns, and a flashing amber light be mounted on an existing sign, warning drivers of the upcoming intersection.

These are the same recommendation made by staff on March 24.

“We did perform a traffic count and took a look at the original report,” said Jim Gordon, the city’s general manager of engineering and regional utilities.

However, the data pointed to the same conclusion – that a light was not needed.

The intersection received only 11 warrant points, based on the Canadian Traffic Signal Warrant Program, and traffic signals are normally only considered at 100 warrant points or higher.

Warrant points are calculated based on many factors, including traffic volume, number of pedestrians, mode of traffic (trucks, for example) and the neighbourhood  (proximity to schools or seniors’ homes).

The city has a list of 49 areas where traffic lights have been requested or are being considered. At the top of the list is the corner of South Fraser Way and Montvue Avenue (102 warrant points) followed by Marshall Road and McMillan Road (97) and Peardonville Road and Livingstone Ave. (96).

Whatcom and Mountain is 45th on the list

Lubbert van der Laan, a spokespeople for the residents, said he’s looked at the report and was hoping for a better outcome.

He planned to attend yesterday’s meeting and thinks council may alter staff’s ideas.

An option could be to defer a decision until the new shopping centre being constructed on Whatcom is completed. Van der Laan hopes the change in traffic patterns can better calculated.

Keep checking www.abbynews.com to find out how council voted.