by Dave Preston
Peachland will offer to pay the cost of installing traffic lights at the Clements Crescent intersection pending an agreement that the province will pay the cost back over time.
The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) told district staff earlier this month that its budget for traffic lights is used up for the time being. MOTI representatives said it would consider installing lights at the Peachland Centre Mall intersection if the district would up front the cost so that MOTI could pay the district back in the future.
CAO Elsie Lemke told council Tuesday that when MOTI was approached in February of 2009, a suggestion was made that left hand turns at the Clements/Hwy. 97 intersection could be restricted. MOTI was told at the time that idea wouldn’t be good for Peachland.
Lemke said she has had experience with the current MOTI proposal when she worked in Osoyoos. That town paid for traffic lights to be installed and had an agreement with MOTI for pay back. She said MOTI paid the town within two years.
Coun. Peter Schierbeck said he was in favour of expediting the installation of traffic lights at the intersection.
“For many years, this and prior councils have been trying to influence MOTI to put a traffic signal there,” said Coun. Terry Condon.
Coun. Charlette Broadoway noted it is difficult for people to turn left from Clements Crescent onto the highway when there are semi-trailers parked in front of the mall.
MOTI told staff earlier this month that the approximate cost of installing traffic lights at the intersection would be about $300,000 and that the district would have to pay one third the cost.
Council agreed to ask MOTI to proceed with detailed design work and a cost estimate for a traffic signal for Clements Crescent and Hwy. 97, and to ask MOTI to prepare an agreement whereby the district will pay up front the total cost and MOTI will reimburse two thirds of the project total in the future.
MOTI has indicated it will take three to four months to get design drawings and a cost estimate prepared.