WORK is now underway to shrink four-lane Lakelse Ave. to three lanes in what traffic engineers call a “road diet”.
The end result will be two through vehicle lanes with a third one in the middle for all traffic turning left.
This work, designed, planned and supported by ICBC, is meant to make Lakelse a safer place to drive and wider lanes will allow drivers to manoeuvre easier than is the case now.
“The existing land configuration includes vehicle and parking lanes that are quite narrow and does not meet traffic engineering design standards,” indicated a city release.
“Currently, drivers making left-turns on Lakelse Avenue must find a gap in two lanes of traffic and encounter more blind spots. The two vehicle lanes and parking lane against the curb will be wider, safer for all users and meet acceptable transportation design standards,” the release continued.
The three-lane conversion begins at Eby Street in front of city hall, extending east to the Lakelse and Apsley intersection.
There will also be more room for parking along Lakelse and more room for cyclists, the city indicated.
Work, which includes line painting and signs, is expected to last until the end of July.
The “road diet” plan is contained in a massive city master transportation plan released in late spring.
Local drivers will already have had some experience with a middle turning lane as that was put into place on Kalum St. from the Park Ave. intersection running north in 2014.
“This initiative has proven to be very successful in reducing vehicle speed, enhancing pedestrian and cyclist safety and comfort while maintain efficient vehicle flow,” a city release indicated of the Kalum project.