After a wait of over two years, a proposed speed reduction to 70 km/hour on Highway 5 at the entrances to Muenster has taken effect. The application for the reduced speed zone along the access corridor was made to the Department of Highways in February 2021. Electronic speed signs had been previously posted in the zone to remind drivers of their speed. Now motorists along the busy route will need to drop their speed in the stretch.
The rationale for the speed reduction took in several considerations, explained Village of Muenster Chief Administrative Officer Jan Sylvestre in a previous interview. Part of the concern is borne of increased residential and commercial development near the village, along with the prospect of even more building construction.
“With the number of small acreages coming up around Highway 5, there’s more traffic onto and off the highway than there has been previously. With commercial development just to the north of Highway 5 in Muenster, there’s a lot more traffic coming and going.”
While turning lanes were a welcome addition several years ago, the increased number of northbound turns off Highway 5 at College Avenue and traffic turning from the north onto the highway means there is more chance of collision at the intersection. There is also occasional pedestrian traffic from the north side across the highway to the bulk of the village.
Another issue Sylvestre notes is the proximity to the junction of Highway 368 which carries traffic to and from Lake Lenore and St. Brieux.
“It’s close to the intersection of Highway 368 where the landscape provides a bit of a rise in the sightline. Traffic travelling westbound is coming up a hill, and then they intersect with College Avenue.”
All of these factors combined prompted the request to the Ministry for the speed reduction. The speed signs were obtained through SGI’s Traffic Fund. The $9500 grant awarded to the Village allowed for the purchase of 3 speed signs, the two posted on Highway 5 and one more on College Avenue in Muenster itself. The Ministry of Highways issued an installation permit to the RM for the signs to be placed.
The zone also experiences a high volume of wildlife traffic in the winter. The hope is that the speed zone will also result in fewer wildlife collisions.
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