The board of education for School District 69 (Qualicum) wants more than a four-way stop at Moilliet Street and Despard Avenue in.
During their last meeting, held on April 27, trustees unanimously voted in favour of writing a letter to Parksville’s city council to express their support for one of the original options laid out by the city’s acting director of engineering, Joe Doxey.
Doxey provided council, and subsequently the school board, with solutions for traffic management in a report titled Intersection Review of Despard Avenue West at Moilliet Street South, dated Feb. 7, 2021.
As of April 7, council voted to go ahead with the four-way installation – an option not presented in Doxey’s report.
Members of Parksville council met with the SD69 board of education on April 6 for a ‘robust discussion’; the motion was introduced and passed the next day.
“It’s important to point out that the RCMP actually have opposed the four-way there,” said trustee Elaine Young during the April 27 board meeting.
Support for ‘option four,’ as provided in Doxey’s report, was first introduced during the meeting by Young.
Option four, as stated in Doxey’s report, intends to improve motorists’ recognition that the north leg of the intersection (that turns into Trillium Lodge) is designed to function more as private access to Trillium Lodge and, secondarily, to the Oceanside Health Care Centre. As per the report, if option four was implemented with the previous three options, it would provide the highest level of safety for both motorists and pedestrians. Option one of the report would be to reinforce lane markings to encourage single lane traffic at the intersection. Option two involves adding a realigned zebra-style crosswalk and sidewalk letdowns. Option three would be to add activated flashing beacons at the crosswalk to improve pedestrian visibility.
Option four would cost a total of $102,500. With the existing $25,000 available in the Existing Safe Routes to School budget, carrying out option four would require increasing the 2021 General Fund, Engineering Operations Safe Routes to School budget by $77,500.
Young said the letter to council would not only express the board’s support for option four, but that it be done as soon as possible, ideally before September.