Council seeks to divert trucks from downtown

Mission councillors will be lobbying the provincial government for the changes

The sight of a large lumber truck barrelling down First Avenue might soon vanish if council gets its way.

Mission council passed a motion Jan. 23 to have municipal workers meet with the Ministry of Transportation to discuss diverting truck traffic off Lougheed Highway and North Railway Avenue between Cedar and Murray Streets.

The councillor spearheading the move, Dave Hensman, outlined the needed steps.

“First, we’re going to sit in with engineering and map out the changes we believe will give the ability for trucks to avoid First Avenue,” he said.

Truck drivers have complained they’re currently unable to safely turn left onto the Murray Street overpass to avoid downtown, which Hensman said can be fixed if the province is willing to make some changes to lane alignment.

Some truckers can make the turn, but Hensman said it should be engineered so it’s safe for every driver

“If you make this work so everybody benefits, then everybody wins.”

Hensman said business owners and downtown residents cited this as a concern during the election.

“It’s going to create, first of all, a more pleasant downtown shopping atmosphere. Second, it’s going to divert the traffic, so it eases up on traffic downtown. And it’s going to be more effective for the trucks because they won’t have as many lights to go through.”

Although no timeline has been established, Hensman said council will lobby the provincial government to ensure it happens.