The intersection of Government and Depot roads is turning into an engineering nightmare as municipal officials try to resolve safety concerns.
Last week, the District of Squamish council voted to create a four-way stop at Government and Depot and Government and Eagle Run Drive. While councillors pushed for stop signs, the district’s director of engineering, Rod MacLeod, said the Government and Depot intersection isn’t an easy fix.
The roads don’t meet at 90-degree angles, creating an awkward situation, he noted. Trucks travelling along Government aren’t allowed north of Depot Road, forcing them to turn right at that intersection. If stop signs are placed there, trucks won’t be able to turn without hitting the poles, MacLeod said, noting the signs also can’t be placed too far away from the roadside. To accommodate big vehicles, the district might be forced to undertake a road realignment that involves acquiring private property.
“The angle that Government and Depot intersect at makes everything challenging there,” MacLeod said.
Despite staff reports and traffic studies indicating the four-way stops are unnecessary, council pushed for them because of safety issues, Mayor Rob Kirkham noted. Last year, a woman died and a man suffered serious injuries in a two-vehicle collision at the Government and Depot intersection. Parents with children who attend in Brackendale Elementary School and Don Ross Secondary School have also voiced concerns regarding vehicle speeds through school zones.
Coun. Patricia Heintzman suggested that while staff look into the plausibility of a four-way intersection that they also examine alternative traffic calming models. A roundabout might be one option, she noted.
Backing Heintzman’s suggestion, Kirkham requested that if the four-way stop at Depot and Government requires major realignment, district staff come back to council with details on what the project entails and alternative solutions.