Council’s proposal to divert trucks from First Avenue has hit a roadblock with the Ministry of Transportation.
Abbotsford-Mission MLA Randy Hawes said trucks will not be diverted along the Murray Street overpass through the industrial zone because it isn’t practical. The ministry will, however, approve the lowering of the speed limit to 30 km/h from 50 km/h.
The traffic-calming measure should lessen the danger of commercial vehicles barreling down the downtown core, but the councillor who spearheaded the diversion proposal isn’t satisfied.
“This pursuit cannot be over until trucks are removed from First Avenue,” said Coun. Dave Hensman, adding anything that can slow the trucks is a good first step.
“I presented a very workable plan to the ministry of highways and somehow it got lost in the mix,” he said, expressing disappointment that Hawes didn’t push the province harder.
Hensman said a provincial election is coming up and he expects the issue to be top of mind for many in Mission who are interested in downtown revitalization, which can’t happen with noisy trucks ruining the shopping experience.
Until the district can convince the province to reconsider the wishes of council, Hensman has encouraged truckers to voluntarily take the bypass.
But truckers have complained in the past that they’re unable to safely turn onto the Murray Street overpass to avoid the downtown, requiring changes to lane alignment, a provincial jurisdiction.
Hawes didn’t know exactly when the signs would be officially lowered to 30 km/h, expected to go up between Murray and Grand Streets.