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MLA, Courtenay CAO on petition to permanently close city block

A petition to permanently close a block of Johnston Avenue to traffic prompted Courtenay council to take a closer look.

The petition, which has 18 signatures representing 10 area properties, requests Johnston Avenue between Fourth and Fifth Streets be closed.

Past Courtenay councillor and current Comox Valley MLA Don McRae and his wife make up two signatures on the petition, and City CAO Sandy Gray and his wife make up another two.

Gray left council chambers while the matter was discussed.

Coun. Starr Winchester noted the issue is related to excessive traffic on the avenue and suggested City staff complete a report.

Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard said she'd rather get the "whys and wherefores" from the petitioners before having staff do a report.

Winchester's motion was carried with Leonard opposed.

Gray later told the Record he signed the petition when initiator Peter Gerritsen asked because he's in favour of safety improvements to the avenue.

He said Johnston Avenue is narrow and is often used as a shortcut. He noted issues with the sight lines at both ends of the block, he's seen cars travelling on the sidewalk due to the narrowness of the roadway, and telephone poles and other cars have been clipped by passersby among other things.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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