Port Moody is changing the way it determines whether a neighbourhood needs traffic calming and how it can be achieved.
At its meeting Feb. 9, council approved a staff recommendation that would see traffic calming requests reviewed by engineering staff and Port Moody police before they’re forwarded to a consultant with safety expertise to prepare a plan. It would then be assessed by the neighbourhood at public open houses and through surveys.
If approved, the plan would be implemented as a pilot project for a year using temporary or low cost materials like barriers and speed reader boards before it’s reassessed to determine if it’s to become permanent.
Jeff Moi, the city’s general manager of engineering and operations, said the new procedure will allow the city to prioritize and deliver traffic calming projects more quickly. It will also buy time to update traffic calming policies that were initially developed in 2001 when traffic pressures weren’t as great or widespread.
“There’s been a lot of traffic calming initiatives since then,” he said, “but now we’re beginning to receive calming complaints and requests for places that have already been traffic calmed.”
One of those is from residents along Moray Street, at the foot of Thermal hill that connects to Coquitlam.
In a report, Moi said despite the installation of feedback lights on the northbound side of Moray that alert drivers they’re exceeding the posted 30 km/h speed limit and new markings indicating a bike lane on the southbound side that were painted when the street was repaved last September, his department continues to receive complaints.
The concerns include:
- the roadway’s design doesn’t give enough consideration to the safety of pedestrians
- the lanes are too narrow, crowding larger vehicles toward the sidewalks
- blind spots are created by the hill’s gradient
- lack of enforcement of speed limits
Moi said speed data collected along the route since last summer indicates speeds have reduced significantly with the measures already in place but more can still be done to ease neighbourhood worries.
“It does warrant a traffic calming initiative,” he said, adding that could include the installation of another speed feedback light on the southbound side while the city studies additional measures.
Coun. Steve Milani agreed. “It didn’t really achieve the results the neighbourhood was looking for,” he said of the existing traffic calming strategies.
Mayor Rob Vagramov suggested temporary curb bulges could be installed at key intersections as well as the installation of a pedestrian crosswalk at Pinda Street where many families cross on their way to Moody middle and elementary schools further west along St. Johns Street.
Moi suggested Moray Street would be the first traffic calming candidate to be considered under the new procedure.