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Ministry working with Coq. on highway signage
B.C.'s transportation ministry says it will work with Coquitlam officials to ensure directional signs on Highway 1 are clear for motorists travelling through the city.
On Thursday, a ministry spokesperson said it has developed markers for the Tri-Cities to be installed at the rebuilt Cape Horn interchange to address some of the traffic confusion.
"While these signs will still use numerical references, the wording will read 'Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody — Use Hwy 7' to ensure drivers coming off the new Port Mann Bridge and Highway 1 eastbound out of Burnaby are aware of where to go and what exits to take," spokesperson Kate Trotter wrote in an email to The Tri-City News yesterday.
The interim guide signs will stay up until the road and drainage works are finished on the multi-billion dollar infrastructure project, she said.
On Monday, Coquitlam city council issued a letter to Transportation Minister Mary Polak to complain about the "lack of adequate signage" for commuters on Highway 1, and pressed for generic names to be used for connecting highways rather than shield numbers.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said many drivers — both locals and out-of-towners — are not familiar with Highways 7, 7A and 7B; instead, their common names, Lougheed and Barnet highways and Mary Hill bypass, should be used on the signs.
Other Coquitlam council news:
The project office steering the Evergreen Line construction needs to do a better job helping traffic move around, a Coquitlam city councillor said this week.
Coun. Brent Asmundson, a bus driver, said Burquitlam motorists have been delayed by the Evergreen road work — even when no building is happening. He said cones have blocked lanes for no reason, and often the North Road and Austin Avenue intersection is jammed.
"It's an unnecessary impact to the neighbourhood," Asmundson said. "We need to make sure the traffic flows."
Jennifer Locke, Evergreen's project manager for the Burquitlam area, said weather, signal timing and road line painting have been factors in the recent gridlock.
Executive project director Amanda Farrell told council at its Monday meeting preliminary works are now 80% complete and the project office is trying to mitigate traffic problems.
EGRT Construction, a consortium led by SNC-Lavalin inc., has been awarded the contract to design, build and finance the Evergreen Line from Lougheed to Coquitlam town centres. The Evergreen Line is scheduled to be running by the summer of 2016.
Meanwhile, commuters and businesses can call the hotline at 604-927-2080, log onto facebook.com/evergreenline or follow @TranBC on Twitter to get up-to-date information.
Developers will soon have new rules to follow for large billboard construction signs that advertise new highrises in Coquitlam.
City council on Monday gave three readings to a hoarding signage bylaw that, if adopted, would restrict the large advertising boards to 40% of the street frontage. As well, hoarding signs could not exceed 1.4 m tall or be illuminated.
But Mayor Richard Stewart said he's concerned the proposed bylaw is too limiting especially as the city is densifying its Town Centre.
"People have to understand the scale of the project. I'm still in favour of allowing the marketing message," he said, adding, "In a downtown, we might want to allow small illuminating signs. We are building an exciting City Centre here."
Currently, the city has no policies for hoarding signage. Construction site advertising is now under review by city managers, who say growing neighbourhoods are seeing a proliferation of signs — many of which are not allowed under the city's sign bylaw.
Acts of kindness need to be a "normal practice" to make the community a better place, Coquitlam's mayor said this week.
Mayor Richard Stewart made the comments after students from Port Coquitlam's Maple Creek middle school spoke to council at its Monday meeting about the 8th annual Real Acts of Caring (RAC) Week, Feb. 10 to 16.
The students talked about their achievements during last year's designated week such as handing out free coffee, treats and cards to emergency personnel and school and civic officials. To reinforce their message, they also passed out Valentine's cookies to Coquitlam council.