More of Agassiz’s rural residents approached council on Monday night, asking for better traffic calming measures.
They are calling for physical obstacles, namely speed bumps and stop signs, that could stop speeders from zooming along the community’s backroads.
Noemi Keusch said she appreciates that the municipality has made some changes to signage “but speeding along that route continues,” the mother of two preschoolers said.
“The District of Kent has a duty of care to keep all residents safe,” she said, adding that she believes a few speed bumps along the route that connects the Lougheed Hwy with the Agassiz Rosedale bridge could deter speeding and other dangerous driving.
“I’m sure changes will be noticed” if four or five speed bumps were placed strategically, she said. “And it’s an insignificant sum in comparison to what could happen to one of our children.”
At a previous meeting, staff reported that speed bumps would cost $3,000 each.
While some who live along the route have complained about the increasing flow of traffic over the years, resident Jonathan Sutton told council it’s not the amount of vehicles taking the route that is causing concern.
“Our issue here is with speeding,” he said. “We still are requesting effective and sustainable deterrents.”
Mayor John Van Laerhoven said council is working on finding the best solution.
“We’re wrestling with it,” he said in response to the delegates’ requests. “It’s a really complex issue… If we put speed bumps on that route are we also compelled to put bumps on other collector routes, like McCallum Rd. or MacDonald?”
He also reiterated concern that speed bumps could inhibit emergency vehicles, including fire trucks.
“It will slow us down quite a lot,” Agassiz Fire Chief Wayne Dyer told the Observer. “Every minute, a fire doubles in size.”
As first responders, firefighters respond to various types of emergencies, including car crashes, and do provide medical assistance.
Dyer believes the best way to control speed — and more importantly, reduce accidents —on any route is through police presence and programs like Speed Watch.
Van Laerhoven also believes Speed Watch will be effective in that area. The equipment is easily available through the District of Kent and ICBC. It just takes a few volunteers to take on the project.
“By and large, I believe if the general public is made aware they are erring, most will correct themselves,” Van Laerhoven said.
At the same meeting, a late item was introduced proposing that council considers changing the speed limit on one section of Fir Road from 50 km/hr to 30 km/hr. The section runs between Mountain View Road and Pioneer Ave.
Council voted in favour of the change, with Coun. Lorne Fisher opposed.
A staff report attached stated that the intersections along the route (including Tuyttens, Whelpton, Mountain View, Agassiz Ave., Pioneer, Fir and Ashton) do not meet the warranted requirements for stop signs.
Further, it said that unwarranted stop signs can be a potential safety hazard to pedestrians and motorists.
On Tuesday morning, several pedestrians were walking the new marked trail that runs along Mountain View Road. While one passerby believed that the project was too costly for the safety benefits gained, others said the addition of the barriers and wider pathway were a welcome change.