South Peace News
The unsightly barricades on the north side of the High Prairie Post Office face an uncertain future.
Some councillors want the barricades removed, and the sooner the better.
Councillor Michael Long called the barricades “butt ugly” and “the most controversial thing” contrived during debate at council’s Nov. 22 meeting.
“It’s causing more problems than it ever solved,” he said. “Our temporary solution wasn’t the best.”
The barricades were installed in 2014 to stop motorists from entering the post office parking lot while traveling west. Accidents were being caused by traffic backing up at the intersection.
Councillor Arlen Quartly was also against the barricades.
“Those concrete blocks have been quite the discussion piece,” he said.
Quartly proposed a solution.
“Turning the street running east-west as a one-way…” he said. “[Leave it] open for all businesses running one way.
“It doesn’t affect the businesses,” he added. “It’s just an idea. Do a test on that and see if the one-way works.”
“One way, I think it’s a great idea,” said Long. “It would solve a lot of issues.”
Councillor Brian Gilroy added he also heard complaints of how ugly the location is. He suggested a four-way stop.
However, he heard from Town of High Prairie public works Supt. Vern Walker that Alberta Transportation was unlikely to approve a four-way stop on the highway.
As for pedestrians crossing from the Northern Lites, Gilroy said there was little chance of solving the problem.
“No matter what we do, we won’t stop people from jaywalking,” said Gilroy.
“The barricades have to go,” said Quartly.
Administration was directed to contact East Prairie Metis Settlement administration regarding signage and report back to council. East Prairie leases space to the post office and must be advised of changes.
Signage proposed includes placing “No Exit” signs near the parking lot entrance by the main doors.
Peace officer Alan Bloom said in a report to council that removing the barricade would not be a viable option.
“It would cause traffic issues as it did in the past, which was a bigger issue, than the ones identified now,” wrote Bloom.
Regarding the one-way proposal, it may be considered later if proposed signage doesn’t work.