City Addresses New Fire Hall Questions
Prince George, B.C. – The City of Prince George had some of its senior officials on hand to field questions at the proposed location of a new fire hall on Saturday.
Should voters give the ok in next month’s referendum for the borrowing of up to $15 million to build the fire hall it would be located on the south side of Massey Drive just to the east of the YMCA building. Fire trucks responding to a call would have little difficulty making a right-hand turn onto Massey but many have questioned the ability to make a safe left-hand turn out of that site.
The City’s General Manager of Engineering and Public Works, Dave Dyer, says “first thing we’re going to do is widen the road to allow for a centre lane turn. It’ll be one of those double turn lefts, so you’ll be able to go left into the tennis courts but the main reason will be for the fire trucks returning from a call to be able to turn left safely from that lane. But also we’ll have a signal that will be activated during a call, and if they have to turn left, the traffic will stop.”
“We also plan to co-ordinate it with Massey and Carney and 20th so that that intersection will be stationary while the truck is manoeuvering out. We normally have scopes on our intersections. It’s not just a timer, it’s actually seeing that there’s no queue there anymore” and be able to say its clear. “So that signal will stop the traffic when a left turn is needed and probably even when a right turn is needed just to stop the traffic from moving so the fire trucks can manoeuvre properly when there’s a call.”
Dyer says the widening of Massey, which is part of the project, will occur on the south side of the street “because one of the challenges we have are the (hydro) poles. This is a transmission line, more than your average hydro line. We will look at seeing if we can move those poles, as part of the process, but the room that we have is on the south side of Massey. We also have to look beyond the curve at Griffiths and Masich Place Stadium, the cross walk there.” He says the City is looking at some type of signal and a pedestrian crossing at that location. “That will be part of the whole analysis for this corridor here.”
He says the intention is to keep access to the fire hall and access to the “Y” separate. “It will look different than it does today. We may have to do some re-routing inside. Right now the access road to the Y is very tight to Massey. We might have to look at a change in there but all that will part of the consultant’s requirements and we’ll have to work with the Y as well on how we make sure that movement is safe.”
Dyer says should taxpayers approve the fire hall project “I’m hoping was can have engineering look at the whole corridor all the way from the intersection of Massey, 20th and Winnipeg all the way to Pine Centre, because this route through here is a fairly busy route for vehicles but also, is there an opportunity to widen the road, maybe separately, but maybe the whole area there’s an opportunity to widen it for a safer bike route through here as well. Because it is a very good connection to the downtown from the residential Westwood area.”
“I’m hoping that we can look at other improvements as well. Obviously those would be costly but there may be opportunity to at least get some design work that we can plan for the future.” Those type of things, though, he says would be totally separate from the fire hall project.