With workers and families flooding into the resource booming north, Mayor David Pernarowski has called for the establishment of a transportation infrastructure task force to come up with a strategy for dealing with everything from transportation safety to problem intersections in Terrace.
“All three components of the recommendation address issues such as improved traffic flow with a second grade separation, better access at the Keith/Sande intersection, and safer access over the train tracks for pedestrians,” Pernarowski said of the memo submitted to city staff at the July 22 regular council meeting.
In terms of the overpass, Pernarowski wants the task force to, “prepare an engineered design for this grade separation that can then be presented to the various levels of government and to CN as a shelf ready project.”
He also wants to see a solid plan developed for a possible pedestrian walkway at Kalum over the tracks as well as for improving the intersection at Keith and Sande that is currently regulated by a confusing combination of traffic light and stop signs.
As for safety, the mayor said in an email that, “there is no question that the rail disaster in Lac-Mégantic has us all thinking about railway safety … our Fire Department does train with CN on how to respond to a rail incident in the community involving dangerous goods … Transportation safety issues are always on Council’s agenda and will continue to be at the forefront of our discussions with CN and the Province as we work towards continuous improvement to the transportation corridor through the City of Terrace. Regarding the desire to form a Transportation Infrastructure Task Force, I would say that safety is a key component with this initiative.”
City staff will be looking into the details of who will sit on the task force, but it seems that it will include members of the community, Ministry of Transport staff, city of Terrace staff, as well as mayor and/or a council members.
In September councillors will be attending the Union of British Columbia Municipalities conference in Vancouver where municipal officials meet with ministers for fifteen minute sessions and discuss the needs of cities.
A meeting with Transportation and Infrastructure minister Todd Stone will be a priority, Pernarowksi said, and he wants a concrete plan to present at the meeting.