Fort St. John looking to change name of East Bypass Road

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Erica Fisher

Erica is a reporter for Moose FM and energeticcity.ca in Fort St. John, B.C. She grew up in Victoria, B.C. and received her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec.

"A bypass road really has connotations of getting around the city faster," she explains. "What we're saying now is, yes you can go around the city, but not faster."

Councillor Larry Evans explains that the bypass road was originally set up so trucks could drive quickly around the city instead of through it, but trucks now choose to use the Alaska Highway and then the West Bypass Road to avoid traffic. Scott Maxwell, Ministry of Transportation District Manager for the Peace District, says changing the name of a road is simply a matter of paperwork.

"The bypass is becoming less a bypass as what it used to be," he argues. "The bypass was a great project when it originally began outside of the city, and it really kept a lot of those big trucks from down onto the corridor, but now we have to reevaluate."

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He also clarified that the road is not technically a Dangerous Goods Route, although some trucks may use it as one. In the long-term, Ackerman says the city needs a new bypass route, something the Ministry will be looking at. The MOT has ordered a road safety audit for the road, which is expected to be completed by October.

In addition to renaming the road, City Council has also decided to put up signs at either end of the area of the walking trail it recently decommissioned. The signs will state that using that section of the walking trail is at one's own risk, and will show the alternate route. The trail will remain as is until a decision is made with the Ministry after the audit. As usual, the trail will not be maintained over the winter.

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