Options on how to make the intersection of Ninth Avenue Northwest and Highway 1 safer could be presented to the City of Moose Jaw as soon as this fall.
Minister of Highways Jeremy Cockrill told Discover Moose Jaw that this fall options for a corridor study will be brought forward to Moose Jaw City Council as well as stakeholders such as business owners on North Service Road for feedback.
“I understand that residents have been waiting for this but these types of studies are not done over a weekend or overnight. There's work that goes into this,” Cockrill explained.
“There's analyzing the current traffic flow, they are looking at other examples of intersections improvements that we've made in Saskatchewan as well as have been made in other jurisdictions in Canada. Again, it takes time to pull all of this information together and get it ready for a presentation.”
This comes after the business owners on North Service Road met with the ministry expressing their concerns and asking for vehicle-actuated lights at the intersection.
For the business owners, but came down to economics and losing business because people avoid the intersection.
“I think it was a productive meeting that we had this summer with the business owners. I certainly heard that concern and, again, that will be a factor that we carry into how we move forward on this particular intersection,” Cockrill said of the meeting.
Following the meeting, Moose Jaw City Council voted to support the business owners' efforts to have traffic lights installed immediately until the corridor study could be completed.
Mayor Clive Tolley sent a letter to the ministry asking for vehicle-actuated traffic lights. He received a reply that, while the ministry agrees that safety is top of mind, traffic lights would be considered in the corridor study and not installed immediately.
“The ministry certainly has safety in mind. We've made changes over the last number of years to try and address that,” Cockrill said of the current situation at the intersection.
“I think we can say that objectively that that intersection was safer than it was decades ago, but obviously we still have work to do in terms of the safety there and that is why we are doing this study.”
Cockrill pointed to the reduced speed limit, turning lanes, acceleration lanes, exit ramps and improved lighting and signage at the intersection.
The corridor study will also consider other intersections along Highway 1 through Moose Jaw including intersections at Thatcher Drive and Main Street North/Highway 2.