Riverside Drive Speed Humps

Democracy prevails! Riverside Drive Traffic Committee to find long term sustainable solutions for traffic calming

The advisory committee meets again on Wednesday April 3rd at 7pm and will ensure that alternative solutions are implemented. Send comments and suggestions to the forum below.
 
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All mail correspondence sent to traffic@seymourvalley.ca is displayed in this newsgroup.

 

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Riverside Drive Traffic Calming Advisory Committee

Andrew Karlstrom (chair)
Ray Burns
Blair Wilson
Harry McGucken
Kevin Gallagher

Ann Solheim
Michele Payne
Jay Rowland
Bill Maurer
Willy Schuurman
Ken Reid
Steve Barclay
Marilyn Reid
Phil Holland

There is staff participation from one or more of the following:

Donna Howes
Irwin Torry
Richard Zerr
RCMP Officer  (Beaudoin, Arduini, or Petit)

          Names in green represent original members of this committee.

The meetings are open to all interested residents. If you feel passionate about the issue of traffic safety on Riverside Drive and have ideas that you would like to share please RSVP Andrew or Bill to indicate you would like to attend. The next meeting is on Wed April 3, 7pm.

Overall Preference for Speed Humps

Preference for Alternative Traffic Calming Solutions

What services should collector roads like Riverside Drive receive?
  • Cement sidewalk
  • Lighting
  • Priority 2 snow clearing
  • RCMP Speed Enforcement
  • Transit
  • Creative Road Signs
  • Community Park
  • ... what else??

 

Local Roads
The main function is to provide property access. Traffic movement is of secondary importance and primarily involves travel to and from a collector facility. Trip length is short.
Collector Roads
The main function is to collect and distribute traffic into and out of a neighbourhood, and provide property access.
Minor collector Roads
Those collectors that are not a bus route and not a major emergency route.
Arterial Roads
The main function is to carry trips of longer duration and through traffic, as well as accommodate significant volumes of traffic.

Council Report Card - How are they voting on this issue

Date
 
Action
 

Don Bell

Ernie Crist

Bill Denault

Heather Dunsford

Janice Harris

Doug MacKay-Dun

Lisa Muri
07/16/2001 Install
12/17/2001 Keep / Remove Keep Keep Keep Keep Keep Keep Keep
3/11/2002 Keep / Remove Conflict Remove Remove Remove Remove Remove Absent


FAQ

  1. Why do we have Speed Humps?
  2. Why does the District push/support Speed Humps?
  3. Why did some residents push for Speed Humps? 
  4. Are there other areas in the District where Speed Humps are installed and working? 
  5. But wasn't it the Riverside area residents through the "Working Sessions" that asked for Humps? 
  6. But didn't the majority of 261 area households support the Hump proposal through a fair District Questionnaire? 
  7. Didn't District follow a fair pre-defined process? 
  8. What is the actual level of support for Speed Humps? 
  9. But wasn't that citizens petition flawed or rigged? 
  10. Did the District follow their own policy when implementing Riverside Humps? 
  11. What do other municipalities require for suffient support prior to implementation? 
  12. Do Speed Humps make for safer streets? 
  13. Are our Speed Humps unsafe due to a contractor installation problem? 
  14. Are there not more important traffic and safety issues that District could focus resources on? 
  15. But what about other local traffic concerns? 

Articles

Date Article Author
March 5, 2002 Report To Council Donna Howes
March 5, 2002 MarkTrend Survey Results Su Townsend, MarkTrend
March 3, 2002 Speed Hump Update Phil Holland
February 27, 2002 Traffic Calming - Monitoring Update - Report #5 Ken Krueger
February 2, 2002 MarkTrend Riverside Speedhump Survey Marktrend
January 23, 2002 Jan 2002 Speed Volume Comparisons Donna Howes
December 14, 2001

Feedback on Report to Council #3

Bill Maurer, Resident
December 12, 2001 Traffic Calming Advisory Meeting Minutes, December 12, 2001 Bill Maurer, Resident
December 10, 2001 Dec 2001 Speed Volume Comparisons Donna Howes
December 6, 2001 Traffic Calming - Monitoring Update - Report #3 Richard Zerr, Director of Planning and Engineering
December 3, 2001 Report to Residents - Review of Staff's Report to Council Phil Holland, Resident
December 3, 2001 Innaccuracies in District Staff Reporting to Council Phil Holland, Resident
November 28, 2001 Traffic Calming Advisory Meeting Minutes Bill Maurer, Resident
November 28, 2001 Traffic Calming Policy not followed in Riverside Drive speed hump installation Bill Maurer, Resident
November 28, 2001 Bumpy Ride for Riverside Speed Humps North Shore News, Ian Barraclough
November 26, 2001 Concerns Over Bumps Carl Wilson, Resident
November 25, 2001 Riverside Drive Poorly Maintained Robert Grant, Resident
November 24, 2001 Traffic Calming Meetings Not Open To Alternative Suggestions Ken Reid, Resident
November 22, 2001 Coquitlam Traffic Calming Fails Tricity News
Nov 20-21, 2001 Traffic Calming Concerns Cathryn Wheeler-Bishop, Resident
November 19, 2001 Council Minutes - Concerned residents express their views District of North Vancouver
November 15, 2001 Report to Residents - Petition Result Phil Holland, Resident
November 14, 2001 Engineering Reverses Position. Speed Humps now 2cm too high Richard Zerr, Traffic Engineering
November 13, 2001 Response to Bill's letter Richard Zerr, Traffic Engineering
November 8, 2001 Traffic Calming - Monitoring Update - Report #2 Ken Krueger, Traffic Engineering
November 8, 2001 Analysis of Riverside Traffic Calming project Bill Maurer, Resident
November 2, 2001 Speed Hump Petition follow-up letter Phil Holland, Resident
Sep to Nov, 2001 Similar Humps on Viewlynn and Glenwood rated at 30kph Maury Harte, Resident
October 15, 2001 Council Minutes - Speed Hump Removal petition presented to Council District of North Vancouver
October 15, 2001 Petition to Remove Speed Humps Phil Holland, Resident
October 12, 2001 Traffic Calming - Monitoring Update - Report #1 Ken Krueger, Traffic Engineering
September 29, 2001 Problems with humps 3 Jay Rowland, Resident
September 27, 2001 Problems with humps 2 Jay Rowland, Resident
September 25, 2001 Confirmation that Speed Hump Design is Correct Ken Krueger, Traffic Engineering
September 16, 2001 Noise Problems with humps Jay Rowland, Resident
August 29, 2001 Riverside Speed Hump Suggestions Willy Schuurman, Resident
August 28, 2001 Response to Willy's Letter Brian Edey, Traffic Engineering
August 20, 2001 Request to stop Speed Hump installation Willy Schuurman + 50 Residents
July 16, 2001 Council Minutes - Speed Humps approved District of North Vancouver
July 6, 2001 Traffic Calming Report Context Research Ltd.
July 3, 2001 Riverside Drive Traffic Calming Project Report to Council Donna Howes, Traffic Engineering
July 3, 2001 Riverside Drive Traffic Calming Study Area Map Context Research Ltd.
July 3, 2001 Riverside Drive Traffic Calming Study Consultation Process Context Research Ltd.
July 3, 2001 Riverside Drive Proposed Speed Hump Locations Context Research Ltd.
June 18, 2001 Response to Bill's letter Ken Krueger, Traffic Engineering
June 17, 2001 Speed Hump proposal objections Bill Maurer, Resident
May 15, 2001 Questionaire 2 Ken Krueger, Traffic Engineering
April 26, 2001 Invitation to Work Session #2 Donna Howes, Traffic Engineering
April 1, 2001 Questionaire 1 Ken Krueger, Traffic Engineering
March 14, 2001 Arguments against Speed Humps Willy Schuurman, Resident
March 14, 2001 Work Session #1 Agenda Donna Howes, Traffic Engineering
February 27, 2001 Invitation to Work Session #1 Donna Howes, Traffic Engineering
February 27, 2001 Meeting held at Ray Burns home with core residents, Context Research, & District Staff  
December 1999 Hamilton Associates authors Coquitlam and DNV Traffic Calming Policies Hamilton Associates
August 1999 District of North Vancouver Traffic Calming Policy, 1999 Hamilton Associates
November 1998 Canadian Guide to Traffic Calming Glossary of Terms TAC, ATC, ICE
July 22, 1998 Letter from District explaining why speed bumps are bad Mario Giannini, Traffic Engineering
1996-2001 Excerpts from Council Minutes on Riverside Drive Traffic Calming District of North Vancouver
1996-2001 The Chronology Of How Riverside Drive Got Speed Humps Phil Holland, Resident

 


Why do we have Speed Humps?

  • Over the past few years, a number of local residents of Seymour East have repeatedly expressed concerns about speeding along Riverside Drive.

  • The District metered traffic in February 2001 and found that 85% of the vehicles traveling lower Riverside Drive was at or below speeds of 61 to 64 km/hr, slightly above the District average of up to 60 km/h on other local roads.

  • The District began a consultation process where:

    • Private meetings were held between staff and a closed community advisory group.

    • Private meetings were immediately followed by Public Working Sessions that were designed to achieve outcomes.  The public working sessions were opened to all residents and attended by up to 30 of the 216 households in the Seymour East area.

    • Questionnaires to all residents were used to confirm outcomes/desires of  the Working Sessions

  • Officially, we witnessed democracy in action: responsible government acting on behalf of concerns of an entire community.

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Why does the District push/support Speed Humps?

  • Historically, the District has been opposed to speed humps as a means of speed control (see "Do Speed Humps make for safer streets" below), so why support them now?

  • The District is being influenced by a minority that does not represent the community at large. They have mistaken the community advisory group lobbying for speed bumps for the group that is supposed to represent the broad based community. Ray Burns heads both:

    • the Seymour Valley Community Association (SVCA) which is supposed to be a democratically elected body that represents the broad interest of the community AND

    • the special interest group lobbying for speed humps.

  • In letters to residents, Councilors have expressed confusion over SVCA's role in the Speed Hump issue.

  • The District does not want to enforce speed limits:

    • The District has stated that speed limit enforcement is problematic since all ticket revenue goes to the provincial government while the District must pay the all RCMP enforcement costs. There is no business in enforcement!

    • This governance issue should be resolved through negotiation between the provincial government and the municipality. Honest citizens should not be penalized because of the speeding violations of a few. 

    • Given the Districts inability to fix the governance issue, Speed Humps become the next most cost efficient means of enforcing speed limits.

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Why did some residents push for Speed Humps?

  • Residents have repeatedly asked the District to deal with vehicular speeding. The District is reluctant to enforce speed limits using the conventional "punish the perpetrator" method of ticketing and does not believe that education will influence drivers. 

  • Many residents see speed humps as a permanent solution to speeding problems and feel that it is reasonable to subject the majority of residents to speed humps in order to slow down the minority that ignore speed limits.

  • Speed Humps are also the first step that some local residents would implement to restrict and shape their community.   Examples of other restrictive projects proposed are:

    • Restricting access to mountain bikers  (SVCA objective: Work with the GVRD to establish safe staging area for cyclists away from the residential streets of the community) AND

    • Closing access to the Seymour Conservation Reserve to stop "Outsiders" from coming into the area (see Context Report Page 6 for this comment made by Ray Burns at one of the working sessions).

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Are there other areas in the District where Speed Humps are installed and working?

  • Yes. On Viewlynn Drive and Glenwood Drive speed humps are installed in park/school areas where the legal limit is 30KPH

  • Speed Humps are simply not an appropriate calming device to use on a 50KPH collector road like Riverside Drive.

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But wasn't it the Riverside area residents through the "Working Sessions" that asked for Humps? 

  • No. 

  • Residents explored many options to improve safety during the Working Sessions.

  • Every option suggested that did not involve Speed Humps was met with the response from District staff that "we do not have budget, we only have budget for Speed Humps"

  • Workshop participants were used to make the outcome more palatable.

  • Speed Humps were the only option presented to council.

  • The District pushed for outcomes it and a minority group desired rather than listening for outcomes all residents desired.

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But didn't the majority of 261 area households support the Hump proposal through a fair District Questionnaire? 

  • No. 

  • To measure support for the four speed hump proposal, the District surveyed residents via mail.

  • Results of District Questionnaire #2 demonstrated that 54% of the 116 area residents that responded to the Questionnaire supported the proposal. Response rate for the Questionnaire was 44%.The District felt that this level of support constituted sufficient support to recommend a major change to the community.

  • The report to council recommending solutions did not mention that information sent to households to gain support for Speed Humps was misleading.  In mailings to residents, speeds motorist would be able to navigate over was greatly exaggerated.

  • The District used flawed survey techniques to measure support. Questionnaire #2 allowed residents to select one of three options to indicate their level of support for the specific 4 Speed Hump proposal. One option to indicate support of the specific proposal AS IS, one option to indicate support for the proposal WITH MODIFICATIONS, and one option to indicate NO SUPPORT for the proposal. The results: the two favorable options, when combined and suggested modifications ignored, constituted 54% support.  

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Didn't District follow a fair pre-defined process? 

  • No.

  • Originally, residents were promised that "the results from the working sessions and community survey would be consolidated and sent back to the neighbourhood. Staff would then develop recommendations for presentation to council."

  • Instead, after successfully receiving what could be argued in front of council as sufficient support, the District rushed their recommendation to council with minimal notice to the community - the regular council agenda published in the North Shore News.  Only after council approved of the Speed Humps did the District go back to the neighbourhood announcing their final recommendation.

  • The report and recommendation were sent to council during the peak summer vacation months.

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What is the actual level of support for Speed Humps?

  •   A door-to-door citizens petition conducted in September/October 2001 after the speed humps were installed asked the 261 households to take one of two clear positions, either:

    • Keep the Humps  OR

    • Remove the Humps

  • Contact was made with 88% of area households.

  • 81.5% of the drivers petitioned to have the Speed Humps removed!

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But wasn't that citizens petition flawed or rigged?

  • One resident of the 1600 Block Riverside Drive, spoke to council the night the petition was presented to:

    • express concern over the biased format of the poll, and the misinformation and sometimes harassing attitude presented by those conducting the petition/survey.

    • request Council to disregard the resident survey, and if deemed appropriate conduct a safe, open and unprejudiced survey or review.

  • While its always possible that somebody did feel intimated when asked to express their views, however the survey was conducted in an objective and professional manner. 

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Did the District follow their own policy when implementing Riverside Humps?

  • No

  • Serious mistakes were made, for example:

1. Sufficient Support for calming was not achieved: Section 2.2 of 1999 District Traffic Calming Policy states "at least 50% of homes must return surveys and the majority of these must support traffic calming". 

Only 40% of our homes returned Survey 1 that asked the community if they supported traffic calming efforts 

Only 44% returned Survey 2 which asked if the community supported the 4 hump proposal. 

2. Consensus was not reached: The traffic Calming policy empowers communities to make up their own mind with respect to traffic calming but recognizes that traffic calming is a contentious issue and defines processes for ensuring consensus is reached. Generally speaking, if communities want humps, they can request them although communities may have to fund themselves unless certain criteria is met.

Section 3.4 of 1999 District Traffic Calming Policy states that "... working session meetings will use group decision making techniques to encourage consensus building toward the selection of a preferred solution". In working sessions held for the Riverside project, the community did not reach consensus that speed humps were the preferred solution. No consensus was reached to do only the 4 speed hump option and no vote was taken at the second meeting to confirm what the preferred solution was. The option to do "No traffic calming" was conspicuously absent from the list of alternatives presented. Attendees were requested to drive over existing speed humps and most expected that a third meeting would be held.

3. Funding should not have been provided by the District: Funding of traffic calming projects will only be considered for those projects where the existing conditions in the neighborhood exceed at least one of the minimum operational thresholds shown in the following table Section 4.1 of 1999 Traffic Calming Policy:
 
CHARACTERISTIC MINIMUM THRESHOLD POSITION
Traffic Infiltration 50% or more of traffic is through traffic
Excessive speeds 85th percentile operating speed is 16k/h over the posted speed limit or greater
Traffic Volume Traffic volume is greater than 3,000 vehicles per day

Riverside drive meets none of these criteria. Infiltration is 0% since there is only one way in and one way out. The 85th percentile at 800 block was 14.5k/h over the posted speed limit and the traffic volume was 1096 on Feb 22, 2001 Report To Council July 3, 2001 by Donna Howes.

In summary:

1) There was not sufficient community support to initiate the Riverside traffic calming project - the project started anyway. 

2) The policy requires that the community determine the preferred calming solution - the District imposed the preferred solution.

3) There was not sufficient support to implement the Districts solution - it was implemented anyway.

4) The District solution did not meet it's own funding criteria - it was funded anyway.

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What do other municipalities require for sufficient support prior to implementation?

  • Recall that the District of North Vancouver requires at least 50% approval with a 50% response rate. Also recall that the District never achieved this level of support on the Riverside project, but went ahead anyway contrary to policy. 

  • The City of North Vancouver requires that at least 66% of the neighbourhood must be in approval, and no more than 20% disapprove. See http://www.cnv.org/Streets/Ridgeway.htm  for more City  information.

  • The City of Coquitlam policy is developing a new policy that will now require traffic calming petitions have a two-thirds majority vote before implementation. Note that Coquitlam has learned the hard way, just as we are. Traffic calming projects met with so much public opposition that Coquitlam humps are being pulled out -see Coquitlam Traffic Calming Fails.

  • Coquitlam's unpopular policy was developed by the same consulting firm that developed the 1999 District of North Vancouver Traffic Calming Policy: G.D. Hamilton and Associates.

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Do Speed Humps make for safer streets?

  • The District of North Vancouver's official speed bumps policy in effect prior to 1999 stated that: Speed Humps shall not be installed on streets or lanes as a method of speed control There are numerous reasons for this policy including:  

    • Concern about public liability to the Municipality should an accident occur after a driver strikes a speed bump, loses control and drives off the roadway or into another vehicle.  

    • Associated noise and vibration generated when vehicles regularly strike the speed bumps.  

    • The difficulty in designing speed bumps that would be suitable to handle the large mix and variety of vehicles on the street.  

  • The Canada Safety Council in 1999 stated: "Building obstacles to impede traffic is a sheer waste of taxpayers' money. The Canada Safety Council urges municipalities to invest instead in proven safety measures."  

  • Many residents are complaining about erratic driving and noise as cars maneuver the speed humps. Pedestrians have commented that they feel eerie walking in the area of the humps as cars slow and speed behind them, especially at night. Many drivers are finding that humps narrow drivers focus away from the general street and sidewalks down to the humps themselves.

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Are our Speed Humps unsafe due to a contractor installation problem that is being corrected?

  • When residents first complained to staff and council about the height of the Speed Humps,  the official response was that Humps were installed to specifications.  

  •  After the citizens petition demonstrated overwhelming support for removal of the Humps, the District looked again at the issue and determined the installation was flawed.

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Are there not more important traffic and safety issues that District could focus resources on?

  • Yes

  • Anyone who leaves the neighbourhood during rush hours knows that bridge traffic impedes local traffic.  

  • Instead of focusing on higher priority traffic issues where solutions would benefit all residents, the District has chosen to spend resources on highly divisive issues that cause neighbour to dispute neighbour without due process.  

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But what about other local traffic concerns?

  • The 1st Working Session was the tool used to identify speed as the major safety concerns in the area.

  • Questionnaire #1 that followed Working Session #1 was sent to residents and confirmed the top safety issues were:

    • Speeding (mentioned by 28 of  38 respondents)

    •   Inadequate sidewalks (mentioned by 23 of 28 respondents)

    • Parking concerns (mentions by 18 of 28 respondents)

  • Has anything happened to address non speeding concerns? Is the area safer now that Speed Humps have been installed?

  • Did you participate in a lengthy and costly process designed to achieve a predetermined outcome desired by a minority group?

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Authored by Willy Schuurman/Bill Maurer
Last Revised: November 26, 2003