PoCo council takes aim at speeders

More than $1 million in traffic, pedestrian safety improvements in Port Coquitlam planned for next year: report.

Port Coquitlam rolled out plans this week for traffic safety measures in 2020 to slow drivers on its roads.

But PoCo's committee of council called on city staff to dig deeper to look at additional local and arterial streets where residents and business owners are asking for help to curb speeding.

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Tuesday, infrastructure planning manager Melony Burton laid out the proposed projects under the 2020 Transportation Program — at a cost of $1.09 million — that will see, among other things, flashing pedestrian beacons, raised crosswalks, traffic buttons, sidewalks and curb bulges plus removal of a crosswalk at Coast Meridian Road and Dorset Avenue.

Taking out a crosswalk isn’t a decision staff take lightly, Burton said, but this crosswalk’s position along a four-lane road — and with no traffic light — makes it dangerous, she said.

“I think it will be safer” with it out, Coun. Laura Dupont added while Coun. Glenn Pollock recommended Dorset property owners be notified by letter of the upcoming change.

Still, the committee shelved a plan for a beacon at Cedar Drive and Lincoln to consider other traffic calming options.

Coun. Steve Darling said despite the $312,500 in upgrades along Cedar this year for traffic and pedestrian safety, the north-south stretch — from the Coquitlam border to Prairie Avenue — is still a hazard and he likened some drivers to racers “in the grand prix.”

He said a pedestrian-activated light at Lincoln wouldn’t be effective and suggested a raised crosswalk instead.

Mayor Brad West said the city is struggling to cope with the traffic volumes from Coquitlam’s Burke Mountain. And he delivered a pointed message to Coquitlam RCMP’s new officer-in-charge, Insp. Annette Fellner, who was at the meeting, to step up police enforcement.

City manager Kristen Dixon said the committee will have a report by early fall to review alternate measures for Cedar/Lincoln.

Dupont said hotspots in all PoCo neighbourhoods need a closer study as speeding was the biggest concern that council candidates heard on the doorstep while campaigning for office last fall.

Western, Eastern and Citadel drives, and Castle Crescent are especially hard hit with fast-travelling drivers, West acknowledged.

At his prompting, the committee directed staff to provide a more encompassing report for traffic and pedestrian safety.

“For a small investment, we can have quite an impact in the neighbourhoods,” the mayor said. “[Traffic improvements] are welcomed by the residents. We have a renewed focus on it and I would like to try to do more.”

Under the 2020 Transportation Program, $696,000 for the work will come from the city while the rest from TransLink, ICBC and Coast Mountain Bus Company. Costs are based on 2019 tender pricing.

Proposed 2020 sidewalk and pedestrian safety improvements

• Oxford, from Lincoln to Galer: sidewalk, streetlights, retaining wall
• Dixon: sidewalk gap
• Kelly, from Mary Hill to west lane: sidewalk, pedestrian flashing beacon
• Hastings, from McRae to Lincoln path: sidewalk, streetlight(s)
• Broadway at Mary Hill Bypass sidewalk: fencing, pedestrian landing areas
• Fremont at Seaborne: pedestrian (half) signal
• Pitt River at Langan: pedestrian flashing beacon
• Pitt River at Yukon: sidewalk, pedestrian flashing beacon
• Riverside at Yangtze: pedestrian flashing beacon
• Coast Meridian at Dorset: crosswalk removal
• Bus stop improvements at seven locations: wheelchair accessibility and pedestrian landing areas

Proposed 2020 traffic calming projects

• Langan at Brown and Taylor: traffic buttons
• Broadway, Fremont, Coast Meridian: mounted speed signs
• Cedar at Pinemont: raised crosswalk 

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