West Trail residents may be using the “Italian Highway” or taking a precarious detour through Green Avenue to get downtown these days.
The city informed the public Thursday that the lower Glover Road from Green Avenue to Victoria Street closed that day, with no entry or exit for pedestrians and vehicles, due to construction of the Victoria Street Corridor project.
The notice wasn’t received soon enough for one resident living in the area.
“I got out of work that day (Thursday) and went to drive home only to find the area blocked off without notice,” said West Trail resident Errol Frisk. “I understand that we need to get the work done, but to block off a major artery into West Trail without telling us sooner was aggravating.”
For West Trail motorists, a marked vehicle detour directs traffic via Austad Lane and Binns Street, leading drivers to Rossland Avenue and through the Gulch to downtown.
However, a quick drive through West Trail shows that only one side of Glover Road and Green Avenue is barricaded, leaving single-lane traffic open.
With the bottom of the merging hills closed to traffic, anyone familiar with the back streets of West Trail, may opt for a quicker path to downtown than the Gulch detour.
However, an 180-degree hairpin turn onto Green Avenue might be a challenge as that route involves a single-lane-only passage through to downtown.
“Our house stretches the length of the back alley,”said Green Avenue resident Cheryl Graham.
“Right away on Friday, I noticed an increase in traffic through here.”
As cars need to stop and back up to allow another vehicle through, the lane can quickly bottle-neck and back up traffic, added her husband Al Graham, a former city councillor.
The Grahams have lived in the home since 2002, and over the years have witnessed cars speeding through the narrow back lane. Now there is concern that the alley, with a speed limit of 20 km/hr, could spell safety issues.
“Sometimes drivers get a little fast through here,” said Cheryl. “Hopefully the project will finish on time and won’t cause too many problems for us.”
The city is replacing aging infrastructure between Tamarack Avenue and Victoria Street as part of the Corridor upgrades, with the completion date for this leg of the project set for Aug. 15.
This is second week into the $1.6 million project, which includes curb/gutter and sidewalk removal and replacement, utility improvements, pedestrian-crossing enhancements, site furniture and decorative landscape planter features from the bridge up to Glover Road.