Safety issues flagged with second hospital route

A traffic safety advocate is asking Trail council to look both ways before identifying a second-access route to the Trail hospital.

A traffic safety advocate is asking Trail council to look both ways before identifying a second-access route to the Trail hospital.

This is not the first time Anne Johnson, who’s lived in Trail for nearly 30 years, has protested the city’s last proposed route ¬– which would send traffic from Goepel Street up Fourth Avenue up the bank toward the current ambulance station.

Not only does this design include the “steepest grades and tightest corners permitted within a municipality,” she said, it also would increase the likelihood of crashes and have an impact on the community and wildlife.

The second access is one of two grant opportunities Trail is seeking under the Gas Tax General Strategic Priorities Fund and the Innovations Fund.

City council decided Monday to move the estimated $1.9 million project and a proposed pedestrian bridge crossing the Columbia River (estimated at 6.5 million) forward to the program that focuses on reducing green house gas emissions through projects that among other things improves public transit, local roads, bridges and tunnels.

The second road is meant to relieve traffic and offer an alternative route, should the main access ever be closed due to an emergency.

These are very important reasons to have another road, Johnson agrees, but the location is the problem in her mind.

Assuming the last proposed route is still on the table, Johnson reminded returning council members and new blood of the safety implications around a potential second route from a street that is located in a school zone with blind spots. Instead, she suggested the city revisit a second access from McBride Street.

“Before blindly voting to go forward with any proposal which encourages this route, I would encourage individual members to think about the following: what would happen if a bus or semi is stopped in the middle of the road waiting to turn left at Fourth Avenue, can they be seen by additional vehicles traveling up Goepel Street from Second?” she asked.

“Because of the cress of the hill, no they can’t, which would increase the likelihood of rear-end crashes.”

Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs reminded Johnson that at this point the project is simply seeking grant funding and the design of such a road would be taken on by a professional, who would explore safety implications.