Council votes to ask Ministry of Transportation to add left-turn signals to all Alaska Highway intersections

Current layout of intersection at Alaska Rd and 108th St.

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John City Council has voted in favour of having staff ask the Ministry of Transportation about adding advance left-turn signals at the intersection of Highway 97 and 108th Street, with staff to also ask the Ministry about adding the signals at all of the Alaska Highway intersections in Fort St. John.

In a report before Council at Monday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, the City’s General Manager of Integrated Services Victor Shopland laid out two options for Council to consider: either have a barrier erected on 108th St. and for the Ministry of Transportation to install signage on the Alaska Highway, or maintain the status quo.

With the erection of barriers, motorists would have been redirected to 112th St., with northbound motorists making two right-hand turns to access the businesses, while southbound traffic would still be able to make a left-hand turn off of the Alaska Highway onto Alaska Road.

A number of businesses expressed opposition to the City’s plan, stating that removing the option of accessing Alaska Road North from the 108th St. intersection would have a negative impact on their businesses.

One of the businesses suggested that the City get the Ministry of Transportation to add an advance left-turn signal in order to limit the amount of traffic that is able to come off the highway into the intersection at the same time, reducing the frequency of potential conflicts.

A lengthy discussion ensued, while Council discussed some of the other options recommended last December by Urban Systems for alternate intersection arrangements, including having the City install “pork chop” barriers to limit straight-across traffic on Alaska Road and left turns onto 108th St.

In the end, Council voted in favour of having staff inquire with the Ministry about installing advance left-turn signals for all four directions of travel at the intersection of 108th St. and Highway 97, and for staff to also inquire about adding those signals at all of the Alaska Highway intersections in Fort St. John in anticipation of future growth.