PoCo targets six major roads to slow down drivers

New speed signs, flashing pedestrian crossing beacons and traffic buttons will be added to a few of Port Coquitlam’s roads to slow traffic.

New speed signs, flashing pedestrian crossing beacons and traffic buttons will be added to a few of Port Coquitlam’s roads to slow drivers down.

The improvements — some of which have yet to come before city council for approval — are the result of a 2018 traffic count on six north-south arterials: Pitt River Road, Fremont Connector and Westwood, Shaughnessy, Oxford and Broadway streets.

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The count, which cost $24,500, was aimed to analyze traffic to help drivers better navigate PoCo roads — and at the speed limit.

A count is underway for east-west arterials while collector routes will be measured next year.

Melony Burton, PoCo’s manager of infrastructure planning, outlined recommendations before committee of council last week, to be reviewed for future capital plans:

• Westwood Street: Designed to carry 30,000 vehicles a day between Lougheed Highway and Kingsway and 15,000 north of Lougheed. The city is eyeing widening it north of Lougheed to ease traffic flow and to prepare for the redevelopment of PoCo Place mall. TransLink is looking at making Westwood part of its Major Road Network (MRN), meaning it would qualify for maintenance and rehabilitation funding.

• Shaughnessy Street: Designed to carry 30,000 vehicles a day, it’s now operating at about half that number on average. Intersection updates at Eastern Drive will be considered in the 2021 capital plan.

• Oxford Street: Designed to carry 20,000 vehicles a day, it’s operating at 39% of capacity. A new traffic signal at Coquitlam Avenue will be discussed.

• Pitt River Road: Designed to carry 20,000 vehicles a day, it’s now operating at 29% of capacity. City staff have logged requests from residents to upgrade pedestrian crossings: A flashing beacon is proposed for the Langan crosswalk, plus a sidewalk and curb bulge, while a beacon is planned for the Yukon crosswalk next year. As well, traffic buttons at Brown and Taylor avenues to stop heavy trucks from using the route will be up for review next year.

• Broadway Street: Designed to carry 30,000 vehicles a day, the road currently sees about half of that but most drivers are going an average of 20 km/h faster than the limit. More signs will be posted and a permanent speed reader installed. Staff will also look at the McLean/Kingsway intersection, which is clogged at peak times.

• Fremont Connector: Designed to carry 30,000 vehicles a day, it’s now operating at 26% of its capacity and commuters are driving 15 km/h over the speed limit. A traffic light at the Dominion intersection will be considered while a pedestrian-activated signal is proposed at Seaborne for next year.

Mayor Brad West told committee at its June 11 meeting that speeding is the number one complaint from residents and he called on police to step up enforcement.

He said Coquitlam RCMP’s scarecrow — a cardboard cutout of a Mountie holding a radar speed gun at traffic — is “creative but it’s no replacement for an officer giving out tickets.”

Coun. Dean Washington said the traffic count results also highlight the effects of development on Burke Mountain in Coquitlam. 

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