After the completion of a detailed functional planning study for 6 Avenue South, City Council today approved a strategy to address future growth for this important east-west arterial roadway.
In the spring of 2013, the City of Lethbridge embarked on a functional planning study for 6 Avenue South from Scenic Drive to Mayor Magrath Drive. The project included three public engagement sessions and research into traffic conditions, safety issues as well as growth and the needs for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
”Important research and community feedback has been gathered in the study which has lead us to a solid strategy for this important roadway,” says Mayor Chris Spearman. “Moving forward, we have a good list of recommendations that council can consider as we look to improve 6 Avenue.”
One of the key findings of the study shows that based on projected future volumes, 6 Avenue South should not require additional lanes and other changes can be made to manage traffic flow and safety.
The short-term recommendations can be implemented within the current operating budget and capital improvement programs within five years and are estimated to cost $2.9 million. They include:
- Improving roadway signage, pavement markings, sightlines and reviewing street lighting
- Improving pedestrian safety by modifying crossings
- Introducing left turn lanes at 5 Street South and Stafford Drive South to reduce congestion
- Providing an interim cycling route, or bike boulevard on 7 Avenue South, as 6 Avenue South cannot accommodate cycling in the short term due to site constraints
- Planting new trees
The long-term recommendations will be subject to future funding decisions and include:
- Reviewing 7 Avenue South bike route determining if a 6 Avenue South cycling facility is needed
- If deemed necessary, introducing one-way protected bike lanes in the north and south boulevards of 6 Avenue South
“I’m particularly pleased to see the ideas of residents reflected in this plan,” says Mayor Spearman. “Throughout the public engagement sessions, people expressed concern about losing trees and that walking and cycling needed to be easier and safer. These concerns are addressed in the strategy we approved today.”
For more information on this project and to view the 6 Avenue South Functional Planning Study visit www.lethbridge.ca/6AvePlanningStudy.