No change to 15th Street West, council concludes

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Tyler Clarke
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Coun. Charlene Miller joined Coun. Rick Orr in a failed attempt to have something done along 15th Street West to mitigate the physically heavy truck traffic’s vibration effect on neighbouring buildings. 

Capping months of debate about what to do about heavy traffic rattling houses along 15th Street West, council decided in a split vote at Monday’s meeting to do nothing.

 

Only two councillors -- Cons. Charlene Miller and Rick Orr, who represent the two affected wards – voted against the motion to simply “receive and file” an administrative report on the topic that suggested no further action be taken.

With people “screaming down 15th,” Miller reiterated her stance that many homeowners along 15th Street West want something done before it’s too late.

“The speed is what’s causing the sound in their house, and the residents there are very concerned about it,” she said.

“It makes their houses shake, and I’m quite concerned about their foundations, and if their houses are to fall down, what is city council prepared to do for them.”

In the weeks preceding Monday’s meeting, Miller has advocated for either lowering the speed limit to 40 kilometres per hour or having the lights timed in a manner that forced more stops along 15th Street West.

“15th street has always been a truck rout, similar to Second Avenue, and it pops up, these issues, every once and a while when we get massive reconstruction,” Mayor Greg Dionne said.

This past summer was an unusual one, he said, noting that the twinning of Highway 11 coupled with flood mitigation efforts in creating an abundance of heavy traffic along 15th Street West.

“We also had one of our largest paving years, ever, in excess of $4 million that we did in paving, and there was rock, there was sand that was being hauled in for our own paving projects,” Coun. Martin Ring later added.

Although Miller made a case that all of this heavy traffic is passing in front of Queen Mary Community School, Ring argued that Carlton Comprehensive High School, Holy Cross School, Riverside Community School and Vincent Massey Community School are also along arterial roads.

The speed is what’s causing the sound in their house, and the residents there are very concerned about it. Charlene Miller

“We set them up with cross walks, we set them up with proper lights – Queen Mary is not by itself in that regard,” he concluded.

“We have to have a way to get them through our city,” Dionne said of truck traffic. “And we have to great (roads) -- we have one going east to west and one from north to south.”

Although the extension of Marquis Road east and west might provide options in the future, Dionne said that for now, 15th Street West is our truck route and we can’t change it.

Although no immediate action was taken during Monday’s city council meeting in resolving the physically heavy traffic flow on 15th Street West, future resolve was hinted at.

Orr suggested that the city look at finding provincial funding to better maintain truck routes within the city, tapping into the same funding that rural municipalities are able to -- an option public works director Colin Innes said he’ll find out whether is available to the city.

Smoothing out the rough road was also discussed in the coming months as a means of quelling the vibrations of heavy traffic.

Residents along 15th Street West will have to wait until the 2014 paving program rolls out early in the new year to see whether this option will be followed.

City administration has noted in the past that before roadwork can take place along 15th Street West, a great deal of underground infrastructure has to be replaced.

Last month, city administration estimated that replacing the underground infrastructure from Fourth Avenue West to Ninth Avenue West along 15th Street would cost between $1.2 million and $1.5 million. 

Organizations: Queen Mary Community School, Carlton Comprehensive High School, Holy Cross School Riverside Community School Vincent Massey Community School

Geographic location: Second Avenue, Marquis Road, Fourth Avenue West

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  • Mark Warner
    December 11, 2013 - 09:58

    Excessive speed isn't the only problem on 15th Street West. A controlled crosswalk is badly needed at 4th Ave W. and 15th St. Perhaps even center meridians to encourage the maintenance of two full lanes in both directions year round, and to give pedestrians an island of relative safety while crossing the road. Anyone who travels this section of road can spot the kids playing 'Frogger'. They are the 'frogs' dodging traffic, like the old video game. It is surprising that there hasn't alteady been tragic loss of life at this intersection. Will city council put off acting until after there has been?