Upgrades may finally be coming to Squamish's most dangerous intersection | Squamish Chief

Upgrades may finally be coming to Squamish's most dangerous intersection

Designs being finalized, consultation to follow

Long-awaited changes to Squamish's most hazardous intersection may finally be put in place.

At least that seems to be the direction things are going.

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The intersection of Highway 99 and Cleveland Avenue saw 265 accidents between 2013 and 2017, according to the ICBC crash map.

That is more than double the crashes at the second most dangerous intersection at Highway 99 and Mamquam Road, which saw 97 crashes during the same time period.

In 2016, a Traffic Operational Safety Review of the busy Highway 99 and Cleaveland Avenue was conducted.

The report came up with a laundry list of short and long-term recommended fixes for the intersection, which is the gateway to Squamish's downtown.

Items on the list included a possible eastbound right-turn acceleration lane and simpler items such as installing a “Do Not Block Intersection” sign at the commercial access.

Highway at Cleveland Ave Traffic Operational Safety Review by Jennifer Thuncher on Scribd

No substantial changes were implemented to date.

But a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure told The Chief its staff is in the process of updating the design for the changes, and then will begin consultation.

"[We’ll be] engaging with our partners and stakeholders so they have an opportunity to review and provide input before the design and implementation details are finalized. There also are potential private property impacts that require additional analysis," the emailed statement from the ministry reads.

The changes can't come soon enough for the District of Squamish.

In 2016, the former Squamish council wrote a letter to the province expressing the urgency of making the intersection at Highway 99 and Cleveland Avenue safer.

"The proposed intersection improvements have been clear to the District, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure  and ICBC for quite some time, and the changes are still with the MOTI  to implement," said Gary Buxton, general manager of community planning and infrastructure in an emailed statement to The Chief.

 "Because Highway 99 is fully within MOTI’s jurisdiction, the timeline for improving the intersection is governed entirely by the province, and we have still not been provided anything definitive with respect to a timeline."

Buxton said the District, at both the council and staff level, have continued to lobby for the changes, most recently at UBCM in September.

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