By Lyonel Doherty
Hey Oliver, slow down!
That’s what the Town wants motorists to do as it looks at several traffic-calming measures recommended in a strategic report.
Council recently pored over the study with Director of Operations Shawn Goodsell and consultant Steve Underwood from True Engineering.
Goodsell said staff have received many calls over the years about locations where people believe traffic calming is necessary. Measures the Town is looking at include raised crosswalks, speed humps, traffic circles, medians and radar speed signs. An example of a raised crosswalk is the one established on Station Street at Bank Avenue (near the Coast Hotel).
Goodsell said the purpose of this study is primarily to slow traffic down and improve pedestrian safety.
School zones such as School Avenue and Haven Street have been identified as problem areas. Councillor Maureen Doerr called it a “gong show” with all of the traffic and children in the neighbourhood.
One measure being considered in the report is raising the crosswalk at the intersection of Gala Street and School Avenue to slow motorists down.
Goodsell suggested utilizing mobile speed reader signs in school zones.
Another problem area identified is Spartan Street at Rockcliffe Road. Underwood suggested installing an elevated crosswalk at the school district (shop building) entranceway on Spartan.
Fairview Road and Nicola Street are also mentioned in the study. This location already has a crosswalk, but its proximity to the rainbow crosswalk at the high school has prompted discussion of its removal (focusing on one crosswalk only).
Several traffic-calming measures have been identified for Park Drive at Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School. One includes a raised crosswalk, while another includes curb, gutter and sidewalk with bumpouts (for $66,000).
What didn’t make it in the study was Merlot Avenue, where speed is an issue and subject of complaints, said councillors Petra Veintimilla and Dave Mattes.
Public park areas such as Rotary Beach and Kiwanis are under review as well, with Mattes recommending a raised crosswalk at the Kiwanis (Park Drive) location. A raised crosswalk is also being considered for the hike and bike trail at the amber flashing light on Fairview Road. And radar speed sign ($14,000) is an option being reviewed for Fairview Park near the high school.
Not surprisingly, Fairview Road is destined for traffic calming, too. “I call it the Fairview freeway,” Mattes said.
One measure being considered is a four-way stop at Road 2. Rumble strips were also mentioned but council doesn’t favour that idea on Fairview.
Highway 97 north of town (at the entrance sign) is also a concern due to speeding. One measure being looked at is a traffic light or blinking amber lights.
Tucelnuit Drive has historically been known for speeding, therefore, the measures being considered are the removal of passing lanes and narrowing the road paint lines. Underwood said this would create the impression of a more closed-in residential road.
Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger said this road would be a good spot for a radar speed sign.
Sawmill Road from the south is also in the Town’s sights for traffic calming. Mayor Ron Hovanes likened this road to a freeway in terms of speed.
Underwood suggested installing bollards at the intersection of Oak Avenue. A traffic circle is another option.
But water councillor Andre Miller cautioned council to keep in mind that farmers use Sawmill Road to avoid using Highway 97.
In the conclusions and recommendations, council will focus on a roaming radar speed sign ($12,000), Tucelnuit Drive repainting ($9,600), curb and sidewalk extension on School Avenue ($10,000), remove Nicola crosswalk and enhance pedestrian safety at rainbow crosswalk ($22,400), curb, gutter, sidewalk, crosswalk and bumpouts on Park Drive at school ($66,000), and Sawmill Road median bollards ($11,200).
Other measures such as traffic circles will also be considered, as will options to slow traffic at the Kiwanis Park / Fairview Road crosswalk.