Fredericton steers in new direction to curb crashes at intersection

The city of Fredericton has come up with some new ideas to reduce the number of collisions at a major intersection in the capital city.

City of Fredericton comes up with short term solutions for intersection on Kings College Road and York Street

Jon Lewis, chief traffic engineer with the City of Fredericton, has come up with a short-term approach to preventing collisions at Kings College Road and York Street. (CBC)

The City of Fredericton has come up with new ideas to reduce crashes at a major intersection after councillors rejected using a barrier to reroute traffic. 

At a transport committee meeting on Tuesday, Jon Lewis, the city's traffic engineer, presented short-term solutions for the intersection of Kings College Road and York Street.

They include clearing trees and branches that are blocking road signs on Kings College Road. On York Street, staff are also looking at narrowing the travel lanes by having a centre line painted and widening bike lanes.

"They certainly should help," Lewis said. "We'll continue to track collisions there and see ... what the reasons are for those and continue to monitor the situation."

In August, Fredericton council unanimously voted down a controversial proposed median at the York Street and Kings College Road intersection.

Coun. Stephen Chase says many drivers speed through the Kings College Road and York Street intersection. (CBC News)

The median would've meant drivers couldn't drive straight through on Kings College Road but would have to turn onto York Street. Only right turns would have been allowed.

"We are taking steps to improve safety at this risky intersection," said Coun. Stephen Chase, chair of the public safety committee. "The barrier was not an acceptable solution."

But he said no solution would be perfect given the speeding and increased traffic in that area.

About 100 people turned up at a council meeting when a proposed barrier for the intersection was considered and rejected. (Philip Drost/CBC)

If the new improvements don't reduce the number of accidents, the city will have to resort to significant measures, such as installing traffic lights, Chase said. 

Lewis said earlier that over the past decade, there have been 18 T-bone collisions, with injuries to eight people. 

"If we continue to see high collision activity at this location, then we'll potentially look at other options," he said.