From roundabouts to traffic flow, Comox council was given a look at the town’s transportation master plan update.
At the June 9 strategic planning committee meeting, council adopted the 2020 Transportation Master Plan Update following a presentation by the town’s director of operations Shelley Ashfield. The plan was completed earlier this year.
Ashfield said overall traffic volumes have stayed consistent throughout the years within the municipality, which she noted was “quite interesting but good to see there hasn’t been a major shift.”
She reviewed the road network intersection improvements, which include Anderton Road/Comox Avenue. Part of the plan includes increasing the westbound signal timing to 90 seconds by 2024 and by 2029, adding a 30m long right-turning lane in the same direction.
The plan also includes the implementation of a roundabout at Comox Avenue and Rodello Street by 2029 and consolidated intersections in a roundabout at Comox Avenue/Aitken Street and Comox Avenue/Glacier View Drive by 2029.
Additionally, the plan includes a roundabout at Anderton Road and Robb Road by 2039.
“Is there anything in the meantime (that we can put there)?” inquired Mayor Russ Arnott. “Does it makes sense to put a light there or a right turn lane, or do we leave it?”
Ashfield said the highest levels of traffic are during the morning and afternoon due to the nearby school, and that there is nothing proposed in the interim.
She added the town could examine placing something in the intersection in advance – particularly lights – however, it would come at a high expense to the town.
“We can’t do a roundabout (now) because we don’t have the land at this point.”
Arnott inquired if the town looks for opportunities to purchase land as they become available, and noted if the municipality waits until 2039, the town could be looking at millions of dollars for the required land.
“We do keep an eye out for it … typically staff will present it to the CAO,” said Ashfield.
Craig Perry, superintendent of public works for the Town of Comox explained there isn’t yet a conceptual design in place, so it is difficult to know how much land is needed or how the roundabout may fit.
In terms of collision rates, Ashfield noted rates within the town are 40 per cent below the provincial average. The top-ranked intersection for collision is Anderton Road and Comox Avenue, where the total amount of collisions in the past 10 years is 101, with a collision frequency of 9.2 per year.
For pedestrians, Ashfield said the plan includes relocating the existing crosswalk at Comox Avenue and Pritchard Road to the south and installing a flashing crosswalk beacon by 2024. Another beacon is set for installation by 2029 at Anderton Road at Bolt Avenue.
A copy of the Transportation Master Plan is available at Comox town hall or online at www.comox.ca/modx/reports-and-publications.