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Upgrades planned to improve traffic flow

Improvements are in the plans for Prairie Valley Road in order improve traffic flow and safety.

Improvements are in the plans for Prairie Valley Road in order improve traffic flow and safety.

On Feb. 23, the municipality held an open house to show the proposed upgrades.

Don Darling, director of public works for Summerland, said the plan may change since it is a conceptual design, not a detail design.

The improvements cover the area along Prairie Valley road from Brown Street to Cartwright Avenue.

Improvements in the plans include sidewalks and dedicated bicycling lanes.

At present, there are sidewalks in some areas but not in all.

At Giant’s Head School and Summerland Montessori School, two crosswalks with light controls will be added to improve safety.

The road and sidewalk changes will means some land acquisition will be necessary.

The most significant change planned for the road is a roundabout at Prairie Valley Road and Victoria Road South.

Darling said there is poor traffic movement at present. At times, cars are lined up at the four-way stop intersection.

The oval-shaped roundabout is the preferred option for safety, but it requires a significant land acquisition, Darling said.

He added that roundabouts have fewer points of conflict between vehicles and pedestrians than at conventional intersections.

The design elements cause drivers to slow down and result in improved safety as a result.

Roundabouts also lead to improved and more efficient traffic flow, less pollution and cost savings as signal equipment is not needed.

“Simply stated, the roundabout is the best solution for this intersection,” Darling said.

Using $600,000 in funding from the gas tax revenue program and $600,000 from development cost charges, the $1.2 million cost could be funded without additional taxes needed.

In addition, diversion of a creek would include $500,000 from the Building Canada Fund Flood Protection Program and $250,000 from capital out of revenue, for a total of $750,000.