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.
The municipality installed a new three-way stop, as well as concrete barriers on the south 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 because they felt that it was too close to the train tracks and could pose a danger to drivers.
The municipality paid for a sign holder to hold up traffic when trains passed through for several weeks, until the stop sign was at last removed on Wednesday. Now there are just two stop signs: the one at Millar Creek Road which was there before, and a southbound sign on Alpha Lake Road heading towards the highway.
The cost of hiring staff to hold road signs was approximately $7,000. The sign wasn't covered right away for safety reasons, and ads were posted in the newspaper along with signs advertising the change for two weeks.
Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said it was disappointing, but that the municipality would be looking at a more comprehensive plan for Function Junction next year that would include pedestrian traffic.
"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 will 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? Sidewalks? Street lighting? Those are the things we'll be looking at next year."