Traffic along Evans Road has been calmed by the city, with the placement of bollards to prevent any left turns in or out of the elementary school. But it’s causing traffic congestion in the school parking lot that is often backing up on Evans Road. (Jessica Peters/ The Progress)

Traffic congestion leads to parent complaint at Evans elementary

VIDEO: City of Chilliwack installed no-left turn bollards to smooth traffic flow, provide visuals

Traffic at Evans elementary has gotten worse, not better, thanks to a change at the city level.

That was one of several traffic complaints that greeted school trustees as they met for their first school board meeting Sept. 19. Where there was always just a single yellow line dividing traffic in front of the school on Evans Road, there is now a double lined reinforced with tall, yellow traffic bollards that prevent southbound traffic from turning left.

The change also means vehicles can no longer turn left coming out of the school’s sole exit point. The change was made just a few weeks before school started, and came as a surprise to parents who drive their children to school.

One of them was Jason Hughes, who took the opportunity to voice his concerns publicly to the school board last week.

“They’ve taken a small problem and turned it into a big one,” he said.

The change was intended to “keep traffic flowing” in the area, Hughes was told by the city employee he contacted. But all it’s done, he says, is move the problems further along Evans. And it’s creating a dangerous short-cut, he adds.

His own son was walking near the Wells Supermarket on one of the first days of school. A car cut quickly through that store’s parking lot and almost hit the group of walkers before speeding back down Evans, north toward the school.

“It’s becoming unsafe,” he says, “and I’m going to have to start driving my son and I will be adding to the problem.”

But the problem could be alleviated eventually. The school district recently purchased the property south of the school, with the intention of expanding their parking lot. Currently, very few cars can park at the school and traffic backs up on Evans Road. The house that sat on the property has been removed, but the district is still in the planning stages of the new parking plan.

The district announced the purchase of the property back in April 2017.

And the district’s secretary treasurer, Gerry Slykhuis, said that staff has been asked to work with the city on a better solution.

“What that entails is us having some discussions with City staff, and then providing our suggestions to them,” he says. “The Evans parking lot is slated to be done this summer [2018]. It will certainly help with parking and parking lot congestion, but not have much impact on traffic flow.”

The changes seem to stem from a vote at the Transporation Advisory Committee level, on June 15. When the City of Chilliwack held a public engagement meeting in the spring, the public had raised a request to reduce the area around Evans elementary to a 30 km/h zone. The committee looked at that request and decided to keep the 50 km/h limit but add the left-turn prohibition, as well as “visual zone enhancements to heighten motorist awareness of the school zone.”

The area now features freshly-painted double solid lines, marked bike lanes, and two sets of bollards.


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

 

An overlay of the Evans elementary grounds shows where the Chilliwack School District is hoping to expand the school’s parking area.

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Anti-SOGI Chilliwack school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Fraser Valley Labour Council endorses four Chilliwack school board candidates

Union group endorses three for city council, pulls endorsement for mayoral hopeful Sam Waddington

Man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Driver assaulted near Agassiz following road rage incident

RCMP ask for public’s help identifying suspects involved in Highway 9 incident

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

UPDATE: Murder victim was brother of slain gang leader

Mandeep Grewal gunned down Thursday in Abbotsford, brother Gavin killed in North Van in 2017

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Man who sexually assaulted teen is declared dangerous offender

Anton Foulds has more than 30 convictions, dating back to 1991

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Most Read