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City rejects Evergreen-Alder four-way stop

Neighbourhood's main concern is the speed of the traffic.
Alder Street residents believe a four-way stop is needed at the Evergreen intersection.

Alder Street resident Bill Andrew disagrees with the city that the intersection at Evergreen and Alder does not warrant a four-way stop.

The city based its decision on a 2011 traffic count in February that showed the intersection is not busy enough.

City staff said the volume split (which compares traffic volume flowing north-south with the amount of traffic going east-west) is 87-13 at the intersection, while a traffic split of 60-40 is the threshold for consideration of a four-way stop.

But Andrew said his and most of his neighbours’ main concern is the speed of the traffic.

“My principle focus is to do something about the speeding on Alder,” Andrew said. “I was surprised (the city report) seemed to focus on the traffic on Evergreen and the issue is to slow down the traffic on South Alder. If I drive 50 kilometres an hour during the rush hour, I can tell you there will be a long line of cars piling up behind me.”

Andrew, who had a friend killed at the Evergreen and Alder intersection more than 15 years ago, wrote a letter to city council to voice his concerns.

Andrew commended council on its decision to add a four-way stop at the Merecroft and Alder intersection earlier this year and said while it has had a traffic calming effect in the immediate area, vehicles are still speeding once they pass the stop signs.

“There is still an issue with speeding on South Alder Street, most noticeably in the north-bound direction between Merecroft Road and 2nd Avenue,” Andrew wrote. “In my view this is because of the downward slope of South Alder Street, beginning just north of Merecroft and continuing northward until 1st Avenue. The speeding is particularly noticeable and is a safety concern when the street is slippery following heavy rain, snow or frost.”

Andrew added that he has witnessed several vehicles coming down the Alder hill have difficulty stopping for pedestrians using the crosswalk at Evergreen. He figures if drivers knew there was a stop sign at the bottom of the hill they would be forced to slow down earlier.

“A four-way stop should have a traffic calming effect similar to that which resulted from the four-way stop at Merecroft Road as well as enabling traffic travelling to or from the traffic light at South Dogwood Street and Evergreen Road to safely access Alder Street,” Andrew wrote.

Council, however, has not yet embraced adding another four-way stop. At a meeting last month, council accepted city staff’s determination that a four-way stop is not warranted at the intersection, but council did vote to have city staff monitor the intersection, particularly once construction on the new hospital is underway.

That’s welcome news to Andrew who believes there is a problem with traffic loads.

“The traffic volume on South Alder is also a concern,” Andrew said. “Particularly during rush hours northbound between about 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and southbound between about 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.”

Meanwhile, the city is in the middle of an Alder Street corridor review which recommends a cross-section of two wide travel lanes, on-street parking on both sides of the street, and a wider sidewalk. Specific intersections will be recommended for curb bulges and medians. The report is expected to be released in the fall.