Grand Forks City Council is rejecting the suggestions of a safety engineering report done by ICBC to keep the intersection at Market Avenue and 2nd Street a two-way stop, claiming that the report didn’t take into account the “near-misses” experienced by pedestrians or the business benefits created by slowing traffic down at the intersection.
“The engineering report is fine on reported accidents,” said Coun. Christine Thompson at a Nov. 12 council meeting, “but I am aware and have been advised that there’s been a whole raft of near-misses, and those aren’t taken into consideration in the report.”
This most recent recommendation to turn the subject intersection into a four-way stop came from community consultant Roger Brooks early last summer, when he made a presentation to Grand Forks stakeholders on how he viewed a revitalized downtown. His plan suggested that by slowing traffic on 2nd Street, drivers would have a chance to take in more of the city, while making the area more pedestrian and bike-friendly as well.
“A four-way stop at that intersection would do more than just traffic calming,” said Amber Esovoloff, president of the Downtown Business Association,”it’s to get people to stop at that intersection and pause and consider coming downtown rather than just burning on through to the second street bridge.”
Coun. Neil Krog also insisted that the feasibility of a four-way stop at 72nd Avenue and 2nd Street be studied as well. Staff are now meant to report back quickly on whether such a change would be beneficial or warranted, so that the city could proceed with both projects next spring.
Discussion ended when council voted to direct staff to install a four-way stop at Market and Second, to be funded from operations up to $10,000, before the end of May 2020.