The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is moving ahead with the installation of a signalized right turn at the Highway 91 southbound off-ramp to Cliveden Avenue as part of a solution to the rush-hour traffic congestion and diversion issue at Annacis Island.
“The working group created to address this issue has come up with a solution that should help alleviate some of the frustration with rush-hour short-cutters,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “It’s a practical solution that can be implemented fairly quickly, while we work on other longer term strategies to alleviate congestion at the Alex Fraser Bridge.”
A new “no right turn on red” signal will create a delay for travelers using Annacis Island as a short cut to the Alex Fraser Bridge. With the extra delay getting onto Annacis Island, short-cutters are expected to stay on Highway 91 and travel over the bridge.
The ministry is also working with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General, ICBC and Delta police to explore the feasibility of adapting existing red-light camera technology to meet the needs of this unique location, ensuring the “no right turn on red” is respected.
“A few weeks ago, we started up a working group with the Corporation of Delta and local stakeholders, looking to find traffic management solutions to reduce the traffic problems with short-cutters diverting onto Annacis Island,” said Delta North MLA Scott Hamilton. “Together, we have come up with a viable proposal which the ministry plans to implement. This new signal at the southbound off-ramp will help reduce the problem and keep traffic from diverting onto Annacis Island.”
The ministry has completed the electrical design and the installation of the new signal will be getting underway in October 2016. New road signs will be placed along Highway 91 that will communicate the traffic pattern change.
“We appreciate the action of Minister Todd Stone and MLA Scott Hamilton, working closely with Delta staff and myself, to continue to address the ongoing Annacis Island traffic congestion issue,” said Mayor Lois E. Jackson, Corporation of Delta. “Earlier this year, Delta responded to the business community concerns by providing dedicated police officers, bylaws staff, and traffic control personnel in an effort to address road safety issues. However, the assistance of the Province to introduce measures, such as the proposed signal, to reduce the incentive for short-cutting traffic to enter Annacis Island is a welcome step in providing a longer term solution.”
This solution is designed to complement the ministry’s multi-step plan to help unclog congestion on the Alex Fraser Bridge and Highway 91, starting with a new interchange at Highway 91 and 72nd which will eliminate the final traffic signal on Highway 91 leading up to the bridge. The plan also includes short-term remedies, such as more tow trucks to clear stalled vehicles and looking at the idea of adding a new counter-flow system.