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Town assigns left-turn on main street issue to police committee

Town discussing to ease congestion on roadways

The Town of Bonnyville continued talks last Tuesday on restricting left turns on 50th Ave. at peak congestion hours to the policing committee.

Deputy Mayor Elisa Brosseau said on the Morning After explained how the issue can only be brought forward so far because 50th Ave. in Bonnyville is also Highway 28, under the province’s jurisdiction.

But that didn’t stop a “lengthy debate” on whether town council can do something with easing congestion, especially at the intersections at 50 Ave. and 46 St. (by Sobeys) and at 50 Ave. and 50 St. (by Brosseau’s Department Store) where left turns would be banned from 11:00am-1:00pm and 4:00pm-6:00pm

“Part of the comments were we’ve done this before. We’ve asked to have this done before, there’s been extensive studies done on this by the province, because main street is a highway it is legislated under the province, it’s not something we can do in town. The studies have been done by the province in the past and they are apparently on a shelf somewhere collecting dust,” said Brosseau.

Councillor Rene van Brabant raised the issue during question period at the June 25 Bonnyville town council meeting.

Studies in years past on how to solve the problem have gone nowhere, as the province said it was not a priority, Mayor Gene Sobolewski said on June 26.

The issue of safety as motorists use the right-hand lanes at either intersection while a vehicle waits to turn left, could be problematic, said Brosseau.

“If you do go uptown early in the morning or after work sometime between 5:00-6:00pm you can see people trying to turn left and traffic is backed right up. Therefore people are taking the right lane and speed down that traffic down main street, which can potentially cause a problem. Some councillors do feel this should be reviewed.

“We will be referring this to the policing committee as well as our engineers to see if there’s a need for this and if so what does this look like,” said Brosseau.