Temporary stop sign Oct. 12, 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Temporary stop sign Oct. 12, 2020. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)

Temporary Vernon four-way stop now permanent

Council votes 5-2 in favour of leaving four-way stop at 43rd Avenue and 20th Street

Vernon residents hoping a temporary four-way stop at a contentious intersection is made permanent have got their wish.

By a margin of 5-2 Tuesday, Oct.13, and after a nearly 35-minute debate on the topic, Vernon council voted in favour of Coun. Akbal Mund’s motion to make the temporary stop at 43rd Avenue and 20th Street permanent, despite a stern warning from staff.

The temporary stop was put in place in September as construction and re-paving began on two projects on Pleasant Valley Road between 39th and 48th avenues. Motorists have been using 20th Street as a detour.

The temporary measure was due to be returned to a two-way, north-south stop on 20th Street at 43rd as soon as the Pleasant Valley projects were complete, likely the end of October or first week of November.

Mund made a seven-point motion to his colleagues, the most important point being, he said, the overwhelming support for the four-way stop from residents.

“There are a few people who don’t want that stop sign there,” Mund said. “But more than 90 per cent have said, especially on social media, they want to keep that four-way stop.”

Mund also pointed out a four-way stop in front of Seaton Secondary at 29th Street and 41st Avenue has less traffic going through it than at 20th and 43rd. Harwood School is a block north of the intersection and “isn’t going anywhere,” noting parents are constantly dropping off and picking up their kids from the school. To the north on 20th Street is Girouard Park, a family-style park with playground.

Mund also said there’s going to be further development along 20th Street and the roadway will become a clear north-south corridor when the road expands beyond 58th Avenue to Stickle Road.

Opposition came from Mayor Victor Cumming, who wanted to wait until the Pleasant Valley Road projects were completed to re-visit the issue and more data was collected. Coun. Kelly Fehr, also in opposition, said he was torn on the issue as he lives in the area.

“I travel that route all the time and there are constantly kids crossing that intersection and the congestion is crazy, especially during school times,” Fehr said. “But (city transportation manager Amanda) Ms. Watson said there will be an increase in accidents if we do go with the four-way stop and by ignoring the professional advice and going for it, that’s a bit of a liability and that scares me.”

The four-way stop sign was added due to increased traffic volume as motorists detoured from construction in the surrounding area, but administration said once Pleasant valley Road is reopened, 20th Street won’t be as busy and there won’t be a need for a four-way stop.

Administration would continue to monitor traffic patterns on 20th Street and at the intersection with 43rd Avenue until construction is complete, a report to council reads.

“At this time, it will be returned to a two-way stop control as retaining an unwarranted four-way stop is an undesirable precedent and a known safety hazard,” the report reads.

City infrastructure and development manager Kim Flick strongly urged council to wait until receiving a staff report outlining what the potential ramifications of going against professional reports are.

“It might be possible that the options to make that mistake are not available to us in the short term,” Flick said. “I don’t know, and I don’t want to preclude what the results of that report would be. And I cannot stress enough that going contrary to these warrants…we strongly encourage council to receive a report on potential ramifications.”

READ MORE: Temporary four-way stop added to Vernon intersection

READ MORE: Interior Health reports 23 new COVID-19 cases over Thanksgiving long weekend

Municipal Government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 test tube. (Via Getty)
COVID-19 moving out of southern Interior and into the north: IH

IH says vaccinations reaching care homes, Big White cluster hard to control, virus spike in Fernie

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and RCMP responded to reports of a dumpster fire outside a dollar store at the Polson Place Mall off Highway 6 Jan. 20, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
Dumpster fire behind Vernon dollar store

Vernon Fire Rescue Services is responding to reports of a dumpster fire near Hwy. 6

The City of Enderby’s Chief Financial Officer is expected to present the 2020 financial summary Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, with implications on Safe Restart Grant funding during the COVID-19 pandemic. (City of Enderby photo)
COVID-19’s financial hit on Enderby summarized: CFO

Revenue losses, savings on services define Enderby’s 2020 financial year

Thirty-four unionized workers represented by MoveUp started rotating job action at VantageOne Credit Union's two Vernon locations Monday, Dec. 14, 2020. Workers are calling for basic job protection and fair security. (Jennifer Smith - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon VantageOne workers back on the job following strike

Mediation continues as union and employer work on reaching an agreement

Calls for potential overdoses in B.C. spiked in 2020, especially in the Okanagan - Shuswap. Pictured above is a BCEHS re-enactment of paramedics attending an overdose. (BCHES)
Overdose calls spike in 2020 across the Okanagan – Shuswap

Stats show every major community in Okanagan - Shuswap increased in calls for potential overdoses

Charlotte is one of the resident pigs at Star's Piggly Wiggly's Sanctuary near Kelowna. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)
Kelowna-area pig sanctuary needs a new home

Star’s Piggly Wiggly’s Sanctuary is looking for properties in Vernon, Coldstream, and Enderby

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
One in five tests in Fernie area coming back positive: doctor

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
From the “You can’t make this stuff up” file – stories from the BC CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

(Thesendboys/Instagram)
Video of man doing backflip off Vancouver bridge draws police condemnation

Group says in Instagram story that they ‘don’t do it for the clout’

Inspection of bridge crossing on a B.C. forest service road. (B.C. Forest Practices Board)
B.C. falling behind in maintenance of forest service roads

Auditor finds nearly half of bridges overdue for repair

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Vancouver Island paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Most Read