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Residents call for more stop signs on Alder

Alder Street is still feeling the fallout from the reconfiguration of traffic lights on Dogwood Street, according to one resident who told council Tuesday the residential street has become dangerous.

Ted Haylow thanked council for putting up the new four-way stop at Alder and Merecroft but said more safety measures are needed.

“Since the reconfiguration of lights on Dogwood Street, Alder Street has become extremely dangerous,” Haylow said. “People speed and do not drive with due care and attention.”

Haylow asked council to add a four-way stop at Alder and Evergreen, citing the city’s Transportation Plan which acknowledges that fewer traffic controls attract drivers to Alder.

“It says the lack of intersection controls, particularly between Merecroft and 9th Avenue, has been noted as contributing to the attractiveness of Alder Street as compared to Dogwood, which has six traffic signals over this stretch,” Haylow said.

He added that with upcoming construction on the new hospital, traffic is only going to get worse on Alder.

Coun. Andy Adams suggested council refer the issue to one of the city’s commissions as well as city transportation staff – a suggestion that was approved by council.

“There may be a pending need to take a serious look at this,” Adams said. “The announcement from Island Health that Birch Street will be closed between Evergreen and 2nd for an extended amount of time during construction will have a significant impact on traffic flow in this area.”

Coun. Larry Samson said it’s clear four-way stops do have an impact, noting that according to last year’s ICBC stats there were three or four crashes at the Alder and Evergreen intersection, and zero at Merecroft and Alder.

The Merecroft four-way was requested by Alder residents last year.

Haylow said problems, though, still persist.

Amber Zirnhelt, acting general manager of city operations, told council Tuesday night that city staff are in the middle of an Alder Street corridor review which is expected to identify any needed improvements.

“We’re looking at all the different intersections as part of that review and we will be coming back to council, likely later in the fall, with that,” Zirnhelt said.

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