September 27, 2001
The Corporation of the District of North Vancouver
Parks & Engineering Services
Attention: Mr. Ken Krueger & Ms. Donna Howes
Dear Sir and Madame:
I just received a copy of the September 25, 2001 fax sent to your office by Donald Coates. Mr. Coates is my next-door neighbor and resides at 1050 Riverside. He has also voiced his dissatisfaction with the increased traffic noise and the inability of traffic to negotiate the humps at anything approaching the 50-km/hr speed limit. He reinforces my suggestion of either removing the hump located at our location (or if you have to keep it, then relocate it). He did tell me that the horn honking is more pronounced during the day and is still a considerable problem.
One thing Mr. Coates did not mention is that he and his wife are retired and spend much of their day in their home. They are subjected to the increased traffic noise all day and it is becoming an ordeal. During weekdays there is the additional problem of noise from large delivery trucks and heavy equipment carriers making deliveries up the street. They bang and scrape as they make their way up and down the street. The residents living at 1090 Riverside are also retired and also find this noise a significant problem.
Recently I was driving on West 37th between Oak and Granville streets in Vancouver. There is a new set of traffic humps installed on the section of 37th avenue closest to Granville Street. The bumps seem to be constructed to the same specifications as the Riverside humps. I found I was unable to go over them at more than 25 km/hr, just like on Riverside Drive. In Vancouver there are accompanying signs indicating a maximum speed of 30 km/hr. Our street has no maximum speed warning signs. If you did put up maximum speed signs, what speed would you recommend that drivers go over the Riverside Drive humps?
The people who live further up Riverside are still very angry and frequently honk to express their displeasure. I have seen some stop and measure the speed humps, as they can’t believe that the traffic has to go over them so slowly and it seems contrary to what we were told at the public meeting. Have those people been writing asking for the removal of the humps?
I am the Block Watch Captain for the neighborhood from 946 to 1192 Riverside Drive. I have informally surveyed the residents from 946 to 968 Riverside, which is in the lower section bracketed by the humps. They gave me the following comments:
Ø These residents were opposed to the installation from the outset.
Ø Since the installation they are unhappy with the noise of braking and speeding up, the horn honking of angry drivers, the crunching of the cars as the mufflers scrape the hump.
Ø They also report drivers speeding up to go over the humps to create a ‘launching effect’ with a resultant crashing noise.
Ø They asked for the hump to be placed in the unpopulated wooded zone (as I did).
Ø They said that if the hump installation was to go ahead, not to put it by their home, due to the anticipated noise. This request was ignored as they have the hump by their home.
Ø They are sending in their own letter to provide their perspective.
Ø She hates the horn honking of angry drivers. She was horrified by the huge amount of honking that occurred on the first weekend.
Ø She mentioned that young drivers are actually speeding up to launch themselves off the humps for a thrill. This is noisy as the cars crash down. .
Ø Feels it would have made sense to put the top hump in the wooded section.
Ø Has noticed some increased traffic noise and some braking noise.
Ø Happy that the horn blowing has diminished somewhat.
Ø She was against the humps being installed, as she did not think it was necessary.
Ø She did call to the District Hall twice, prior to the installation, and was interviewed on her views.
Ø She tells me she was assured by the District that a driver going near the 50 km/hr speed limit would not have to slow down – this has proven to be definitely not the case, in her opinion.
Ø Believes the increased time to get over the humps will impede emergency vehicles more than the amount we were assured in the planning phase.
Ø She says she is glad her house is located roughly the middle between two humps as the cars maintain their speed and ‘just purr past her house.’
Ø Resident is happy that the average speed is down.
Ø The humps don’t bother him.
Ø Says the horn honking is still a problem.
From the summary of the opinions of residents whose homes are within the ‘hump zone’ things aren’t that bad unless a hump is right by your house. I, and my immediate neighbors, seem to have significant problems caused by the hump being close to our house. They are as follows:
Ø Our houses are elevated significantly above street level. The traffic noise rises and is amplified. The residents comments noted above have houses all at grade level and don’t have the same echoing effect we do from 1050 – 1110 Riverside.
Ø Being located by the end in a series of four humps, the drivers heading up Riverside Drive gun their engines as they pass our houses causing intolerable noise.
Ø Some drivers still speed going down Riverside until they meet the first hump by our house. They then brake hard causing screeching of brakes, crashing over the hump etc.
I am approaching this problem in a thoughtful and respectful way. Driving over the humps isn’t my biggest concern, but I strongly request removing the hump beside 1050 Riverside. I would support moving it to the center of the 140 meter wooded section, if it has to go somewhere. My only reservation on this is that I fear that the increased traffic noise will still be evident, even when relocated.
The concerns of affected residents must be a prime consideration in this process. The residents who live at 1050 to 1110 Riverside are facing all the negative aspects of the speed humps without any of the anticipated benefits. People still speed in the region of our homes, plus we have all the associated traffic noise created by the speed humps. On top of everything, if this situation is not rectified we could face a reduction in the market value of our properties, as potential buyers would be put off by the noise. This is a sad outcome for a traffic initiative your Department executed in good faith to address a problem caused by a few recalcitrant speeders.
The District is culpable for the negative outcomes for the following reasons:
Ø There was no discussion at the public hearings concerning the increased road noise to be generated by the humps.
Ø The humps impede traffic speed to a greater extent than was promised in the consultation process.
Ø The most affected residents’ concerns about hump placement and traffic noise worries were completely ignored.
Ø Is there going to be a follow-up survey of residents to gauge their satisfaction with the traffic calming measures taken thus far? If so, when will this take place?
Ø Are you planning to consider my concerns and those raised by my neighbors?
Ø Is some remedial action to be taken? If so, what is planned?
Ø Is this something I have to raise with the Mayor or District Councilors to get some action?
I would appreciate a reply to this and my September 16, 2001 letter.