43rd Ave. grant nixed

City of Vernon puts controversial "road diet" plan on hold after gas tax funding application is not approved

Vernon’s controversial 43rd Avenue Road Diet plan is on hold.

The City of Vernon issued a press release late Friday stating its funding application for federal gas tax money for the road diet plan was not approved.

“It will be recommended to council that this project only be considered again when essential road surface maintenance is required,” said Rob Dickinson, the city’s engineering manager. “Any input received to date will be kept on file for future reference.”

The city proposed going from four to three lanes of motorized traffic (one each way for traffic and a centre two-way, left-turn lane) on 43rd Avenue while the rest of the space would be designated for cyclists.

The plan drew the ire of business owners along 43rd Avenue, but support from cycling enthusiasts.

Vernon Coun. Patrick Nicol believes the feds made the right call.

“This was so controversial and had such dramatic impact, their decision is a good one,” said Nicol. “The government must have looked at the discussion that took place and said, ‘there must be things the entire community supports that we can get behind.’”