A comprehensive report on transportation strategies will form the basis for a discussion about Moose Jaw’s roadways and transit following a Monday evening executive committee decision.
“We started (working on the report) in August of 2011, so it’s been about two years of work,” said Nadine King, a representative of Boulevard Transportation Group, the Victoria-based company that produced the study. “We’ve given them the appropriate information that they need to move forward, and we’re really excited to see the city move forward.”
The report, which came in at over 200 pages, broke down the Friendly City’s transportation infrastructure, offered a number of recommendations for further development split across the short-, medium- and long-term.
King presented a summary of the report to the committee, touching on a number of key elements and offering several suggestions.
Among those suggestions: that the city meet with existing school districts to establish safe travel routes for students; that the city fill in a number of gaps in it’s sidewalk network; that the city update it’s traffic lights over time to coincide with modern standards; that the city consider implementing more bike routes and lanes; and that it look at other methods of bus service that would improve service into and out of the downtown core.
“Really, this report is about setting priorities and trying to find ways to pay for them,” King told the committee.
In total and across all three terms of development, the plan estimated a cost of almost $100 million for recommended development. Much of that cost was earmarked for a medium-term goal of developing an interchange along the Trans-Canada Highway on the city’s west end.
The committee seemed receptive to much of what was included in the plan, but couldn’t outright adopt it as engineering department policy because of the costs involved.
“It’s good to see our city from an objective, outside perspective,” said Coun. Heather Eby.
“I think we should get the engineering department and have a roundabout discussion,” added Coun. Dawn Luhning. “I’d prefer (this report) not just be received and filed.”
A motion was passed by committee to refer the report to a meeting with the engineering department within the next two months in order to glean short-term development options.