Council to discuss closure of Westwood Drive access to 22nd Ave.

City council will be discussing the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s decision to close the access onto 22nd Avenue from Westwood Drive Monday.

The recommendation is yet another move to improve pedestrian safety around the College of New Caledonia in the wake of the death in June of Sandeep Kaur. The CNC student was struck by a car on Highway 97 directly in front of the college. Following her death, the college removed a sidewalk that led to an old bus stop on Highway 97 … a spot that offered no pedestrian access across the four-lane highway but was frequently used by students. In October, the ministry of transportation erected a fence on the median on the highway, preventing pedestrian access.

To further improve pedestrian safety, at the Highway 97/22nd Avenue intersection the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure are in the process of changing the traffic signalization to introduce a dedicated left turn movement from 22nd Avenue Eastbound to Highway 97 northbound, according to the report going before council.

Pedestrians will be allowed to cross Highway 97 on the north side of the intersection without the potential of a conflict with left turning traffic.

“The traffic pattern changes will require that northbound traffic from Westwood Drive be prohibited from entering the intersection at Westwood and 22nd Avenue,” reads the report. “Alternate access to Hwy 97 northbound is available from the on-ramp east of the overpass on Massey Drive, 550m east of the intersection of Westwood Drive and Massey Drive. The northbound lane of Westwood Drive between the Highway 97 southbound off-ramp/on-ramp and 22nd Avenue will be permanently closed to traffic in mid to late January 2019.”