The Downtown Parking Task Force was surprised by comments iTrans made on the recommendations the Task Force had put forward to Council.
In a letter sent to the Task Force, Jay Magus, from iTrans, the company consulted during the Task Force downtown parking review process, commented on some of the recommendations.
“Several points in this letter seem to be a complete reversal of what was discussed during the consultation meetings,” said Task Force member, John Shoff to The Mail.
The iTrans letter came following last week’s council meeting when Ray Romanetz, town CAO, told Council that iTrans’ Jay Magus had advised him that some of the information the Task Force had supplied was incomplete and/or incorrect.
In particular, there was an inaccuracy in the measurements relating to the width increase gained by creating a more acute angle in the parking stalls.
In his response to iTrans, John Shoff, addressed several points iTrans had reviewed.
In particular, iTrans letter said “split phasing of the lights [located at the 3rd Avenue, Highway 9 junction] or having only westbound moves permitted while holding all other movement, is not recommended as it provides a poor Level-of-Service and increases queue lengths.”
In response, John Shoff explained the only increase in queueing time would be for eastbound traffic and the task force had agreed this was an acceptable loss.
In their letter, iTrans also appears to recommend changing the phasing of the North and South-bound traffic lights, something the Task Force was keen to avoid so as to comply with Alberta Transportation’s requirement that the Highway 9 traffic should not be affected by any changes made to the lights.
Regarding the inaccuracy iTrans highlighted of the increased road width gained by changing the angle of the parking stalls, Shoff asked iTrans why their comments did not mention the increased visibility and safety this would provide.
Another point iTrans made in their letter was that, in their opinion, a gap study at the 2nd Avenue/Highway 9 intersection would show there was sufficient gaps for traffic to enter or cross the highway from the westbound traffic.
This statement had Shoff puzzled.
“This is a complete reversal of the discussions had during the task force meetings.
Both yourself, and Tony Chelick from AB Transportation cited the closure was primarily due to the lack of a gap in traffic and that a gap study would show this to be not enough timing to safely enter the highway.
Now you write that the gap is sufficient, and I am very confused as to why you have reversed your opinion on this issue? I would appreciate an explanation,” wrote Shoff in response.
iTrans is arranging a meeting with the Task Force to clarify its position.
A motion is on the floor at Council to delay the implementation of parallel parking for one year.
During Council meeting on Monday, April 26, it was decided to defer the motion until such time as the Parking Task Force reviews the comments from iTrans and presents their findings back to Council.
Despite leaving several messages, The Mail was unable to speak to Jay Magus of iTrans for his comments.