by Colin Smith
Morinville residents can expect to see future upgrades to key arterial roads, improved safety at intersections and pedestrian crossings, and new transit options in line with the Town’s new 25-year Transportation Master Plan.
Town Council approved the plan at its July 14 regular meeting.
Over the next five years, the emphasis is on planning and design, and development of standards and programs to accommodate future growth, which is expected to be 2 per cent per year for residential during the life of the plan.
Thirteen construction projects have been recommended for this period, with the five highest priority items visualized for the next couple of years. The expected costs for the priority projects total $1.43 million.
Corporate Services Director Shawna Jason stated the priorities will be incorporated into planning for the next capital budget, to be considered by Council later this year. Not all will necessarily be approved.
“We will likely face infrastructure deficits if we were to do everything proposed next year or even over the next three years,” Jason said. “We will be administratively doing our best to have a complete capital plan fully funded and prioritized.”
Approval of the Morinville Transportation Master Plan was moved by Councillor Lawrence Giffen.
“This is a high-level plan,” Giffen said. “It’s an attempt to ensure that we don’t take one step forward, two steps back.”
Councillor Scott Richardson reported being approached by business people who said they hadn’t been consulted about changes proposed in the plan, and as a result, he was unwilling to see it approved at this time.
If that is the case, approval of the plan should be put until later, agreed Councillor Stephen Dafoe.
Planning and Economic Development Director Brad White said businesses along 100 Avenue and 100 Street had been contacted directly and the Chamber of Commerce had also been involved.
“This plan overall will serve to inform Council’s budget-making process,” said Mayor Barry Turner. “Plans change. It’s an ever-changing cycle. Get things moving and make appropriate decisions as we go.”
The plan was approved by Council on a four-two vote, with Mayor Turner, Deputy Mayor Sarah Hall, Councillor Nicole Boutestein and Councillor Lawrence Giffen in favour. Councillors Richardson and Dafoe voted against approval. Councillor Rebecca Balanko was not in attendance at the meeting.
The Morinville Transportation Master Plan was developed by consultants Bunt & Associates, along with Town staff. In the 2019 Capital Plan, $180,000 was budgeted for it, but the final cost is expected to be less.
The plan assesses existing transportation system performance, forecasts future travel demands, and define the policies to address future transportation needs. Transportation Master Plan was approved in 2004. A review of the plan is recommended every five years.
Prioritized Construction Projects
- Removal of on-street parking at 100 Street and 95 Avenue to allow for a westbound left-turn bay on 95 Avenue. Cost: $10,000.
- Installation of temporary curb extensions on 100 Avenue from Hwy 2 to 99 Street to reduce pedestrian crossing areas and define on-street parking areas. Cost: $530,000.
- Upgrades to the 101 Avenue and 100 Street intersection to address pedestrian safety. Cost: $445,000.
- Construction of a trail on the east side of 100 Street from 400 metres north of 105 Avenue to the avenue. Cost: $85,000.
- A traffic signal to be installed at Cardiff Road and 100 Street. Cost: $445,000.
Council previously voted to move the discussion of a possible traffic light at 100 Avenue and Grandin to the 2021 budget deliberations this fall.