The first speed humps in Maple Ridge are already slowing down traffic on Shady Lane.
Technically known as “vertical deflections,” the raised asphalt bumps were installed last week along 124th Avenue, between Laity and 216th Street, at a cost of $10,000.
Though speed humps are not a recommended calming measure in the district’s traffic management policy, they are being tested along the stretch with the support from the neighbourhood, which has been plagued by an increase in traffic since the Golden Ears Bridge opened.
District general manager of public works and development services Frank Quinn said the neighbourhood is already seeing a decrease in vehicles traveling along 124th Ave.
“The people who use it for rat running are probably not excited about having to slow down,” he added.
“But mostly we are interested in the comments from the neighbourhood, and they seem pretty positive so far.”
The district plans on monitoring the effectiveness of the speed humps for the next six months to a year.
They were installed after much consultation with residents of Shady Lane.
Quinn said the district looked at other measures, such as chicanes, but there were right-of-way issues.
“When the residents understood that we were prepared to look at speed humps, that’s the one they wanted to go with.”
Originally known as Blackstock Road, Shady Lane is listed on the Maple Ridge’s heritage register and valued by local residents for its “grand allée,” of fir, cedar, hemlocks and maples that form a verdant canopy over the street.
Jennifer Caros and her neighbours are pleased that the speed humps have already reduced traffic and, more importantly, are getting drivers to slow down.
“That’s a plus that everyone is grateful for,” said Caros, relieved to see impatient drivers have stopped tail-gating residents and pulling dangerous manoeuvres to pass cars on the street.
But Caros hopes the district comes up with a more comprehensive plan to not only slow down and divert traffic, but also enhance the heritage features of Shady Lane.
There’s been discussion about applying for a heritage grant from the federal government. Residents would also like the stretch to be more pedestrian-friendly.
“The traffic in Maple Ridge is not going to get less over time,” said Caros.
“I’m hoping that this is the first step and they follow this through so we have a good solution and not a make-shift solution. We are not quite there yet with really protecting the essence of the street.”