The city says it will make changes to the corner at St. Ann’s and Shoppers Row after witnessing bus drivers trying to navigate the narrow turn.
In early October, shortly after St. Ann’s was re-opened to traffic, the Mirror reported that transit drivers often have to turn into the oncoming traffic’s left turn lane on St. Ann’s in order to make the right-hand turn onto St. Ann’s from Shoppers Row.
At the time, Ron Neufeld, the city’s general manager of operations, said the city was interested to hear concerns and feedback and that the St. Ann’s intersection was still under construction. Nearly a month later, Neufeld said he sees that changes could be made.
“In response to some of the comments we were hearing about the intersection of Shoppers Row and St. Ann’s, we did some field testing with our city transit buses to determine if minor adjustments to the curbing could be made to improve turning movements,” Neufeld said. “This process helped identify a few simple adjustments that we will be making to the curb at the intersection while the project is still under construction.”
Construction crews are still looking at how best to improve the corner but options include shaving or reducing the curb angle where it juts out at the bottom of St. Ann’s.
St. Ann’s was closed to traffic from July to early October while the city dug up the road to make improvements to underground infrastructure such as storm pipes, water mains, and sewer pipes.
During construction, Mayor Walter Jakeway sent an e-mail to council on Sept. 11 suggesting the layout of the curbs and islands may need to be adjusted before paving began.
But Jakeway said nothing was done, paving went ahead and the road was subsequently re-opened.
It wasn’t long before Jakeway started receiving complaints from the public.
“Council needs to make a big noise and the public needs to make a big noise,” Jakeway stressed in early October. “It’s foolishness. So they should yell and scream and maybe they’ll make the roads wider.”
Now it seems Jakeway is getting his wish.
But while improvements appear to be on the horizon, Neufeld said it will still be awhile.
“We have asked the contractor to include these adjustments in their work plan, but of course, we are still giving priority to getting the roadwork completed on Alder, Beech and Dubeau,” Neufeld said. “Once these roads are re-opened to traffic, we will have the opportunity to go back to the intersection of Shoppers Row and St. Ann’s to make the adjustments to the curb.”
Alder Street is currently closed to traffic between St. Ann’s and 10th Avenue while Beech and Dubeau also remain closed. Paving, however, is mostly complete on the Dubeau alley behind CIBC. The $4.05 million project is expected to last into the New Year.