Mayor tries to stop Petersen traffic lights

Walter Jakeway vacated the mayor’s chair in order to put forward the motion which was defeated by the rest of council

The mayor tried Tuesday to put a stop to council’s plans to put in a traffic light at the 14th Avenue and Petersen Road intersection.

Mayor Walter Jakeway put forward a motion to rescind council’s decision to spend $250,000 on the lights but was unsuccessful.

Jakeway vacated the mayor’s chair in order to put forward the motion which was defeated by the rest of council.

Jakeway’s reasoning for trying to scrap the traffic light is he doesn’t believe the amount of traffic travelling through the area warrants a light.

“The intersection does not look like it deserves an automated street light for a quarter of a million dollars,” Jakeway reasoned. “I’ve gone and looked at the volume of traffic over the last two weeks and it’s seldom that there’s any more than two or three cars there and there’s long durations where there are no cars there at all.

“It just seems like too much money and I think the whole project and process needs to be re-thought.”

Coun. Samson asked city staff whether the lights will be hooked up to sensors on the ground, which would trigger the light to allow traffic coming off of Petersen to turn onto 14th.

Ron Neufeld, the city’s manager of operations, confirmed the lights will be controlled.

“There would be traffic sensors at the intersection so the sensors could respond to the vehicle patterns that vary throughout the day,” Neufeld said.

Drew Hadfield, the city’s transportation manager, said at the May 13 council meeting that city staff conducted traffic counts at 14th Avenue and Petersen and the intersection does meet the city’s threshold for a traffic light. The city also intends to put in dedicated left-hand turns lanes on all four sides of the intersection, as well as a right-hand turn lane on the north-bound side of Petersen for cars turning right onto 14th Avenue, towards Maple Street.

The work, which also includes adding new sidewalks on 14th, was approved by council during budget planning sessions in January.