The City of Winkler has determined how it will proceed with recommendations resulting from a traffic impact study in preparation for the opening of the Pine Ridge Elementary School.
In 2017, Dillon Consulting was hired to help meet provincial regulations mandating an assessment and the implementation of necessary traffic control measures are done before any new school is allowed to open.
Director of Planning and Engineering for the City of Winkler, Scott Toews says part of the study looked at existing traffic that's generated in the area. It also looked at what's expected 10 years from now, both pre and post-school development, to project what sort of impact that will have on the traffic patterns in the area.
The traffic impact analysis looked at a number of intersections including 15th Street and Highway 14, 15th and Roblin, 15th and Grandeur Avenue, as well as Townsend Drive and Roblin Boulevard.
"Using those traffic projections, they determined that existing conditions after the school is constructed, all of the intersections will perform as an acceptable level of service," says Toews. "Yes we're expecting some increase in delay time, but they're expected to perform at an acceptable level."
Considerations for the area included leaving Roblin and Grandeur as a two way stop, as well as a number of other modifications that could be done to the intersection of Roblin and 15th. Those included widening Roblin to provide left turning lanes, modifying it to a four-way stop, as well as looking at whether traffic signals would make sense, or if a single lane roundabout would work.
Toews says a four-way stop will be installed at 15th Street and Grandeur Avenue, and the recommendation from the study was as further development occurs to the west that a four-way stop be installed at Roblin and 15th as well.
"We have talked with GVSD about providing a four-way stop at Grandeur and 15th Street. That's to provide a safe opportunity for school buses to have that left turning option onto either 15th Street or to cross and continue down Grandeur towards their other schools."
For the short term, the four-way stop is the most cost-effective way to improve the level of service. "We are still going to be investigating alternate options as we go forward, and making sure that actual conditions are matching with what those projections are. So we want to keep an eye on what's going on, and revised our plans as necessary."
Toews says there were pedestrian components to the traffic impact study as well. "We looked at connecting our existing networks, so the sidewalks along Roblin, as well as Townsend, will be completed to allow anyone that's heading toward the school to be off of the roadways."
Two new crosswalks will also be installed, one on Roblin and one at Grandeur at the ends of Townsend Drive.