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Maple Ridge to deal with street calming

Crews work on a storm sewer and sidewalk on 124th Avenue, between 216th and Laity streets in Maple Ridge in October. - The New/Files
Crews work on a storm sewer and sidewalk on 124th Avenue, between 216th and Laity streets in Maple Ridge in October.
— image credit: The New/Files

Residents in three neighbourhoods bothered by rush-hour traffic could get some relief this spring now that the District of Maple Ridge has the time and money to listen to their concerns.

People who live along River Road, Shady Lane (124th Avenue) and 132nd Avenue will be heard under the Neighbourhood Traffic Management Practices, which is also undergoing an update.

Currently, the practices don’t include speed bumps, which the fire department at the time didn’t like.

Under the practice, first developed in 2004, neighbours who want to slow traffic can apply to the district and start the process, which first involves education and raising awareness of motorists, such as through the Speedwatch program.

If the issues still remain, RCMP will increase speed enforcement, although that usually has just short-term effects.

If neither of the above works, physical solutions such as speed bumps or other measures such as narrowing roads, flaring out curbs, or adding medians could be considered. Motorists tend to ignore four-way stop signs after a while, council heard.

Finding a fix for Shady Lane won’t be easy, though. The road between Laity and 216th Street already has been upgraded. But putting in speed bumps or curb flares could just push commuters over to 123rd Avenue, says a staff report.

Therefore, solving traffic woes in that area will likely require considering a broader area.

River Road between, 207th and Carshill streets, could see traffic-calming measures, based on resident feedback. Those two projects are likely farther ahead than neighbours’ requests for slowing traffic on 132nd Avenue, between 216th and 232nd streets. The request by the Alouette Valley Association to turn the road into a “recreational roadway” will require more work because it’s considered an arterial route.

Maple Ridge has allotted half a million dollars for traffic calming this year, with $90,000 each year thereafter.

Coun. Mike Morden pointed out that ICBC says there are 18,000 more cars and trucks in the area compared to 10 years ago. Opening up collector routes could ease some of that congestion, he said.

Coun. Cheryl Ashlie said sidewalks have to be paramount. If the district wants to get people walking, “we have to give them these safe routes.”

“You can’t build your way out of congestion. Just building more roads isn’t necessarily going to help,” said Mayor Ernie Daykin.

 

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