A stop sign that had been placed at the corner of Alpha Lake Road and Millar Creek Road in Function Junction at the start of spring has been removed after an order from Transport Canada. Another stop sign placed in the southbound lane will remain in place.
The municipality made the intersection a three-way stop and placed concrete barriers on the west side Alpha Lake Road to calm traffic and make the neighbourhood safer for the increasing number of pedestrians using the area. However, a Transport Canada inspector requested that one sign, the northbound stop sign on Alpha Lake Road closest to the highway, be removed. If felt that it was too close to the train tracks and could pose a danger to drivers if they were caught behind the stop sign when a train passed.
The municipality paid $7,000 for sign holders to hold up traffic when trains passed through for two weeks. The sign could not be removed earlier for safety reasons; the municipality was required to advertise the change in the newspaper and post signs in the area to let people know about the change for a two-week period until Wednesday, May 29.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said it was disappointing that Transport Canada made the ruling.
"Function Junction has been on our work plan for a number of years, not just in terms of the physical improvements that should occur down there but also because the zoning is a bit of a mess," she said. "It's been put off and put off... but now the OCP (Official Community Plan) is done and we have some other big projects coming to a close this year, and Function Junction is back on the centre of the desk.
Wilhelm-Morden said the municipality would look at things like the zoning, as well as the general identity of the neighbourhood.
"Is it the Soho of Whistler or is still an industrial park? And if it's a mix of all of the above, what does it need?... Those are the things we'll be looking at next year."