The big yellow blocks on Bay Ave. will soon be gone – but not for good.
The canary-coloured barriers could be migrating up to Cedar Ave. or Pine Ave. at Farewell Street early next year as part of ongoing improvements to Trail’s inner city infrastructure.
Pending further traffic studies, city council agreed, in theory, that four-way stops at those two junctions could enhance traffic flow through Trail’s downtown core.
And when either of those intersection projects launch, the yellow blocks are going with.
Although not visually attractive, the concrete structures were installed at each sidewalk corner to simulate curb extensions, mark the traffic pattern change and improve safety for pedestrians.
“Regarding the blocks, everybody knows they were temporary,” said Coun. Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson. “With regards to movement of traffic on Bay Ave. and how successful it was, hopefully the next set of merchants will be a little more receptive.”
Although city staff recommended Cedar Ave. as the next stop for the block configuration, Trail council delayed that suggestion after coming to a consensus on Monday, that traffic along Pine Ave. was more of an immediate concern.
“That’s the one I have more trouble with,” said Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs, during his last governance meeting. “People come off Victoria Street with a decent speed so I would rather see a review done there, first.”
Future considerations of where to move the barriers will be up to the next council including three new faces and the new mayor Mike Martin, all of whom will be sworn in at the Riverbelle Dec. 1.
However, one thing was set in stone, which is the permanent conversion of the Bay Ave. crossing into a four-way stop. Construction at that location will begin in the new year and expected to be complete by June.
Current council agreed to a $425,000 pre-budget approval for city staff to work on a detailed design at the location as part of making the necessary improvements that are consistent with the downtown plan.
Those upgrades include repairing disruptions to the existing underground conduit that’s been in place since 1972, and streetscape enhancements such as constructing a meridian along Bay Ave.
“The only way this will change now is if the newly elected council decided for some reason to reconsider the decision and not provide necessary funding in the 2015 financial plan that is required to proceed,” confirmed David Perehudoff, Trail’s chief administrative officer.
Additionally, the yellow paint-line arcs on the Bay Ave. street corners will be made into bump outs and hold some future greenery.
“Whenever anyone complained to me about the big yellow blocks I said, ‘Did you see those yellow circles?” Bogs noted. “Once I explained that’s going to be the planters, right away they accepted it and said ‘If you’re going to do that, then I am happy.’”