Preparing for the upcoming District of Barriere’s Traffic Bylaw, the municipality held a Road Issues Roundtable open to the public on Feb. 19 at the Ridge.
The roundtable provided just under 30 people (comprised of citizens of the municipality and area residents) with an opportunity to provide input and brainstorm solutions together over the two-and-a-half hour discussion.
Attendees circulated amongst four tables, with each table facilitator asking a different question: roadside/storm water drainage issues, parking of commercial trucks on residential streets, snow removal standards, and general road or road allowance issues.
Regarding drainage issues it was noted a number of dry wells have already been put in with a few more yet to go. Dry wells should address the drainage problem at Station Road/Yard Road, Barriere Town Road/Station Road, Barkley Road/Airfield Road, as well as Connor Road.
There was also much discussion about areas in subdivisions where residents have filled in drainage ditches in order to have the lawn go right to the road. Although it could be a “hard sell”, the district hopes to move the grass back a little and add a swale or gradual slope so people can still mow the grass while the swale will be providing drainage instead of the water running down the road or pooling in driveways and intersections. Apparently this pooling and water on the road is the cause of potholes and also undermines road edges.
It was noted that it is up to the municipality to put in the ditches, yet up to the property owner to maintain them.
The discussion around parking of commercial trailers in residential streets proved to be an active one, with proponents from both sides speaking up. Complaints state noise, headlights shining in bedroom windows in the middle of the night, and erosion of roadways and driveway edges.
District bylaws at this time limit truckers to a 10 minute idle in residential areas with a $100 fine for failure to comply. Fully loaded commercial vehicles are not permitted in residential areas. Commercial vehicles can park on the right of way for no more than 48 hours.
The district noted that eventually when all of the roads are paved in the municipality they must have a plan to maintain those roads with a minimum of repair costs.
Snow removal was also a key question, with feedback invited from residents on the timeliness of snow removal, sanding and the quality of the work. It was noted the maximum accumulation of snow under the municipality’s Priority One (4cm) for maintenance is the school bus routes and Barriere Town Road which must be cleared within two hours. Priority Two (6cm) roads, such as Greentree, is four hours; with Priority Three roads at 8cm. Discussion took place on increasing the snow depth from 6cm to 8cm, and 8cm to 10cm.
It was noted by many attendees that they felt the current road contractor, Murray Purcha, has been doing a good job.
Another discussion took place on the possibility of closing Bannister Road to vehicle traffic, but retaining it as a fire lane or secondary access.
Active discussion came from asking, “Should the community implement a designated truck route, and if so should it be Barriere Town Road?”
Questions about what was happening with the state of the roads in the heart of the community due to construction of the sewer lines were answered by noting that the contractor will be back in town as soon as the frost is gone out of the ground.
A number of people complained about the damage the giant potholes have inflicted on their vehicles, and especially how the state of the roads have made it exceedingly difficult for those using scooters.
At the end of the session the district thanked all who attended, noting they will be compiling the information gathered during the evening and discussing it in council. Another public meeting will be offered in April for those who were unable to attend this one. Council will look at all the findings and make their decisions.
If you would like to comment on road issues within the community you can do so on the District of Barriere website or by stopping by municipal hall in the Ridge.