This spring, residents of the St. Vital ward can expect a series of long-awaited projects from the public works department at city hall, on various traffic initiatives I have requested.
As recently reported in The Lance, an advance flashing yellow light has been installed on eastbound Bishop Grandin Boulevard (eastbound) at St. Mary’s Road. I had first requested this warning system of impending light change back in the summer of 2018. While I am pleased to see the light installed, I would also like to get one at the other end of this mile-long stretch (westbound) on Bishop Grandin Boulevard at River Road. That intersection will soon be getting a separate improvement.
A new apartment block is to be constructed at the southwest corner of Bishop Grandin and River Road. Many residents opposed this building, due to ongoing traffic concerns. This construction project provided the much-needed dynamite to break a log jam at city hall concerning traffic at the intersection. As a result, there will be a new green turning arrow installed, for the afternoon rush hour, allowing northbound traffic on River Road to make a left turn onto Bishop Grandin with more ease. The present "stacking" problems for northbound traffic should be much reduced. There will also be a "phasing" improvement for morning traffic allowing for a longer green light for north and southbound traffic.
I am also pleased to have staff approve two new paint-and-sign style pedestrian crosswalks. One of these is across Novavista Drive near École Julie-Riel, a joint project with Coun. Markus Chambers (St. Norbert - Seine River) who represents the more southern part of St. Vital, past Novavista. More on this at a later date.
The second crosswalk is on Edward Turner Drive in Sage Creek, connecting two pathways. This will increase safety for all pedestrians, particularly for school children heading to École Sage Creek School, from the rapidly growing northeast section of Sage Creek. I am still working on the other needed crosswalk for ÉSCS, which will cross Prairie Smoke Drive at Wild Iris Walk, just north of the school.
It is often the seemingly small projects that matter the most at city hall. I still smile every time I come to the stop sign on Warde Avenue and Ashworth Street. One of the residents who pushed for this said she started crying the day the sign went in. These new projects may seem minor, but they will make for a safer St. Vital.
Brian Mayes is the city councillor for St. Vital.