FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Fort St. John resident Jennifer Dawn has created a petition to urge city staff to put a halt to the 100th Street redevelopment project, prompting the city to respond to provide clarity on their decisions.
Dawn says she made the petition because she believes many residents believe they were not adequately consulted about the project.
“The City of FSJ created an unsafe and impractical bottleneck on 100th Street, which is causing confusion and major traffic delays,” Dawn said.
“The parking lanes are often confused as a driving lane, and the competition for the central lane from opposing traffic leads to many blunders.”
In response to the recent public outcry, the city released a Facebook post aiming to answer questions residents may have.
In the post, the city says they conducted extensive community engagement in 2019 that included a five-day meeting with a design team of urban designers, planners, civil and transportation engineers, and economic development specialists.
The city says the goal of that meeting was to determine the best design for drivers that use 100th Street.
Dawn claims that the project has resulted in overbudgeting at the expense of taxpayers.
“In the many conversations I’ve had, people have expressed that they want our badly damaged roads to be fixed, a rec center for our children, and proper snow removal and road maintenance throughout the harsh FSJ seasons,” Dawn said.
“Many residents want the sewers fixed and [100th Street] to remain a double lane.”
The city says that because of the Peace River Agreement funding they receive, capital projects like the 100th Street Corridor don’t come from residents’ property taxes.
“Ultimately, because the underground infrastructure needed to be replaced on 100 Street, we took the opportunity to redesign the street based on the community’s needs and wants without significant additional costs,” the city said on social media.
It was recently announced that the cost for the next phase of the 100th Street rebuild is higher than anticipated, with the city having to transfer funds from another project and pull from reserves to stay on budget.
This announcement seems to have stirred up pre-existing feelings of discontent among residents, many of whom have previously voiced their opinions on the project.
As of Thursday afternoon, Dawn’s petition has 369 signatures.
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