Turning left at the intersection of Cedar Street and Seventh Avenue is one of the most challenging tasks for drivers in Mission, according to Mission Mayor Ted Adlem who would like to see the problem fixed by adding a designated left turning light for vehicles travelling north and south bound.
Adlem, who lives near Cedarbrooke Chateau on Seventh Avenue goes out of his way to avoid this intersection even though it means a longer commute.
“I avoid that intersection because it’s not safe,” said Adlem, who uses Hurd Street instead. “I’m not an engineer, but it seems fairly simple to me: put in a left turn signal.”
Traffic engineers studied to intersection and agreed there are safety issues. A report also outlined six improvement proposals, and Mission’s director of engineering and public works, Rick Bomhof, said the ideal solution is the widen the intersection and add another lane to accommodate a designated left turn lane and signal.
However, it will likely be 2016 before construction begins.
In the interim, a number of refinements can be made, including overhead signs on Cedar Street for northbound lanes indicating left turn and straight through or right turn; fine tuning timing for the signals, provide a dashed right line for south bound vehicles through the intersection; and realigning the east and west lanes.
“We’re trying to balance safety and capacity,” explained Bomhof, noting a left turn signal now would cause further delays for thru-traffic.
The lights can be set green longer for north-south traffic to alleviate any back ups during the height of rush hour, countered the mayor. “East-west is not the problem.”
As more development takes place in Cedar Valley, that intersection will become more problematic, said Coun. Dave Hensman. “I think it will become a real nightmare in three years.”
Mission staff will study the issue again and prepare another report for council.