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Delta neighbourhoods could see speed reductions

Neighbourhoods buying-in to a new plan will be key, says the city’s engineering director
A new data-driven process for neighbourhood traffic calming is to be formed. Sandor Gyarmati photo

Delta’s engineering department wants to find a new approach to neighbourhood traffic calming.

Director Steven Lan made a presentation to council on Oct. 17 on the plan, noting they want to focus resources on high-traffic corridors where most serious accidents happen, part of the city’s evolving Vision Zero strategy.

“What we see based on the data, and this is police data, ICBC data, it’s on the major corridors. Particularly, it’s around arterial collector intersections. It’s not generally speaking in the neighbourhoods. It’s not on our local roads,” he said.

Saying the city has just under 100 requests for traffic calming each year, Lan noted responding to resident concerns is always a primary focus for the engineering and the police departments.

Concerns are also reviewed by a transportation and technical committee and will also be reviewed by a newly formed civic traffic committee. Data is also considered in the context of such initiatives as Vision Zero goals, as well as the city’s Cycling Master Plan, Slow Streets Pilot Program, safety studies and Walk to School routes.

Speeding and pedestrian safety are the primary complaints, although speed and traffic count monitoring reveals drivers are largely compliant in most cases.

“We certainly have some real challenges. We do spend significant staff resources in trying to find resolve in individual service requests that do not warrant physical measures. We have a number of requests that come forward and the speeds that we measure and the data we have collected wouldn’t indicate that we should do anything, per say, and yet we do try. We are trying to provide other forms of safety enhancements along the street and in the neighbourhood, but, sometimes it’s really difficult for the resident who is coming forward because their perception is that there is danger, “explained Lan.

Residents sometimes remain unsatisfied with alternate measures proposed, said Land, adding, “We are trying our level best to say ‘yes’ whenever we can but it makes it very difficult in some of the circumstances.”

Noting they are proposing a new data-driven process for traffic calming that is accepted by the community and council, but still has to be worked out, Lan said despite the data indicating speed is not an issue, measures will be proposed for several areas including 10A Avenue in Tsawwassen.

Moving forward, to get broader community support, a neighbourhood traffic calming approach based on neighbourhood engagement, rather than individual complaints, will be explored.

Lan also noted current speed limits may not meet neighbourhod expectations, so a lower speed limit on streets may have to be considered.

Some areas already have reductions and there may be support for the speed limit of 50 km/h, even in areas that have already undergone traffic calming, to be reduced to 30 km/h in even more neighbourhoods, he said.

Lan added, the information that will be gathered in upcoming community engagement will be insightful and help the city in come up with a new plan.