Some changes are coming to Swift Current's most dangerous intersection.
The congested crossing of Sixth Avenue Northeast and Chaplin Street East is no stranger to collisions and crashes. A little over a week ago, another incident occurred at the notorious intersection.
It should come as great news to a great many that the City of Swift Current has plans to revamp and improve this hot spot of vehicular mayhem.
The City of Swift Current's General Manager of Infrastructure and Operations, Mitch Minken, is excited to begin the process.
"We have that moving forward with our traffic engineering firm right now," said Minken. "We're hoping to have that in for the next SGI grant application so that we could take advantage of that program to do those enhancements, hopefully reducing the number of collisions at that intersection."
As for what the actual upgrades will look like, that has yet to be set in stone as it really depends on what they can afford to do. The budget they receive will be based on the plan they submit. It becomes a balancing act of submitting a plan worth backing, without asking for anything unreasonable. Somewhere in between too little and too much lies an agreeable solution.
"The main collision that we see is the northward movement of vehicles from Sixth Avenue Northeast, leaving the stop sign, being hit by vehicles moving West on Chaplin Street East. That's the area that we need to improve visibility."
For now, Minken was able to discuss a few ideas being toyed with for the upgrades. One of which was turning lanes that could help prevent collisions by separating turning and incoming traffic.
They are hesitant to set up stop lights, as their goal is to ease congestion as well as improve safety.
"One of the problems with considering traffic lights is the movement up the hill," offered Minken. "Particularly in the winter time, because you've got vehicles that can't get started again when starting to slide backwards. We want to keep that traffic coming up the hill moving, we just need them to slow down at the intersection."
Another strong point of consideration is the addition of pedestrian crosswalks. As it currently stands, the intersection is at times perilous for walkers to attempt to navigate to the other side, as vehicles heading to the downtown outright ignore people waiting to cross.
"Pedestrian enhancement absolutely is part of the whole design," said Minken. "It's part of the SGI requirements."
At any rate, later this year, folks can hope to hear good news regarding the intersection. When work begins and the intersection is closed down, alternative routes around any work being done will be announced and marked with signage.