The District of Mission is contemplating re-routing semi-trucks away from First Avenue.

Council considers re-routing truck traffic

Semi-trucks may not be travelling down First Avenue much longer.

Truck traffic on First Avenue is under scrutiny.

Mission council is considering a move to ban semi-truck traffic on the downtown street. Trucks travelling westbound from Stave Lake Street to Wren Street on the Lougheed Highway could be re-routed at Murray Street.

District staff suggest truck drivers could turn left from the highway onto the Murray Street overpass, travel along Highway 11 and meet up with  the Lougheed again at the north end of the Mission Bridge.

Staff studied the two routes, ran trucks along both during peak periods in the morning and afternoon, and found there were no significant issues with traffic queues or time differences.

“I’ve been saying for years there’s no difference in (travel time) for trucks,” said Coun. Jim Hinds.

Re-routing truck traffic was one of the issues the Downtown Business Association raised. Originally, the request was to re-route traffic during the day, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., but Mission’s director of engineering, Tracy Kyle, suggested council may want to consider making it full-time.

The district will ask the provincial government to examine the issue and share the cost for implementing any changes.

Other downtown cost sharing projects the district wants the province to consider are re-painting the crosswalks every two years, and improving the streetscape, such as street lights, decorative features and open spaces.

A cost for the work has not yet been determined, but Mission has about $1.8 million in its Community Works Gas Tax Reserve Fund available.

Council is still interested in developing a plaza in the downtown, but will be waiting until the future of the post office is determined.

Mayor Randy Hawes has made it clear in the past that the district is interested in acquiring the historic post office building at the corner of First and Welton.

The current plan is for a very small plaza for half a million dollars, said  Hawes. Coun. Danny Plecas didn’t want to discourage the DBA or anyone with the delay, but agreed a redevelopment of Welton Common, the district-owned property on Welton Street, is necessary.