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Posted: July 19, 2021

Speed boards to be purchased for Fernie

By Erin Knutson

A set of speed boards is on the way to the streets of Fernie, following City of Fernie council’s unanimous decision to go ahead with the traffic safety enhancements at its Monday (July 12) regular council meeting.

The speed boards slated for Mt. Minton and Mt. Proctor and 7th Street near Rotary Park will be provided by the MIABC Risk Management Grant (with an approximate $25,556 unallocated balance to go toward the boards).

In addition, the boards will be studied for future policy and placement, according to a city staff report.

“They are to be initially located at primary locations noted for speeding in the draft Active Transportation Master Plan,” said the report.

According to Fernie Chief Administrative Officer Michael Boronowski the speed boards are an ideal fit for the city.

“We have confirmed that speed boards would be excellent purchases for the city for the many reasons that have been raised by council in the past – we’re at a point based on data from the draft plan that we would recommend purchasing two and locating them at our two locations,” he said.

The city would use the portable speed boards to collect data then possibly move them to other locations.

“Once we’ve gathered data on those to support active transportation goals and community goals, the city can relocate them, and we can determine policy for placement in the future,” said Boronowski.

On the use of the grant money, and concerning other grant opportunities, council had concerns over, Boronowski confirmed the use of the funds.

“We receive an annual contribution from the association (MIABC) each year and safety enhancements that require council authentication, so it’s a deliberate use of funds,” he said.

Measuring the efficacy of the speed boards was also tabled by council, as Coun. Kyle Hamilton sought specifics on metrics.

“We try to measure the speed and volume in these corridors. It helps us make decisions- we’re simply providing speed and volume,” said Boronowski.

With location, Coun. Phil Iddon suggested that signage be provided to help with public awareness of speed laws and the presence of the speed boards.

“I don’t know what money is in the budget for appropriate signage, but it’s important to remind people of the actual speed, people should be aware of acceptable speeds, and that might be a good reminder before people see the signs start flashing. We need extra signage for speed,” he said.

Boronowski agreed with Iddon and mentioned that he would take note of his suggestions as the city carries out the initiative.

“We are continually advancing traffic signage through our traffic impact assessment with ICBC, and there are partnered funds available through ICBC. So I will take that note for consideration as we look at the implementation – I agree you should know what a speed board is when it starts flashing, and it’s important to help educate the public on speeds in our neighbourhoods,” he said.

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