Pedestrian lights possibility at high-volume intersection

A concerned resident of the City of Wetaskiwin implored council to consider erecting flashing pedestrian lights at the intersections...

A concerned resident of the City of Wetaskiwin implored council to consider erecting flashing pedestrian lights at the intersections of 47th Street and Northmount Drive.

The request came during council’s Sept. 12 meeting and administration was directed to look into the cost of solar panel lighting. The item is a consideration for council’s 2017 budget process.

“I’m here today to state my concern about an intersection in my city,” said Nolana Wieclaw.

She explained to council how her family, with two young children, frequently has to cross 47th Street heading west. Two lanes each travel north and south, and with a right and left turning lane Wieclaw feels six lanes is to much for just the stationary yellow pedestrian signs.

“When we crossed the intersection last week I heard my son (3) say ‘Phew, we made it.’ This made me sad because he must have heard me say it,” said Wieclaw.

Wieclaw told council her family often has to cross the road waiving their arms to get all the drivers’ attention and has been forced to stop halfway across for a driver who did not yield as they were crossing.

She added with so many lanes of traffic it is difficult to make eye contact with every driver to ensure they are seen before crossing. “I have waived my arms in frustration in an attempt to get them to see us. Sometimes they stop and sometimes they don’t.”

The possibility of a pedestrian study was expressed by council, and Coun. Patricia MacQuarrie says if it takes place she would like a few other intersections in the city looked at as well.

City manager Dave Burgess says three solar panels will cost approximately $15,000.

Coun. Joe Branco recommended administration look into the cost of four panels as well as better wheelchair accessibility for sidewalks at the intersection.