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Burnaby neighbourhood wants speed bumps to slow ‘frenzied’ drivers using shortcut

Residents say it's only a matter of time before someone is injured
duthie-traffic flagel
Audrey Flagel on Duthie Avenue.

A group of Burnaby residents are demanding the city install speed bumps to slow down “frenzied” drivers who use their residential neighbourhood as a shortcut.

The city’s traffic safety committee has received a letter from Audrey Flagel on behalf of residents in a Westridge neighbourhood that is used by ratrunners to access the Barnet/Inlet Drive. Drivers come along Duthie Avenue and down Burnaby Mountain parkway and then turn into their neighbourhood. Flagel says other drivers turn into their neighbourhood in the opposite direction.

“They are using this street as a shortcut as opposed to using Hastings, which is the designated commuter route,” Flagel writes. “Every day hundreds of commuters are using this route all day with numbers exponentially increasing into the rush hour, turning our street into a highly unsafe area for residents, pedestrians and cyclists. Commuter traffic is coming from both directions, even though there are restrictions on left-hand turns onto Ridge from Inlet during rush hour. In addition, we observe an increasing number of motorists accessing Ridge from the west bypassing the Hastings route altogether. In other words, Duthie has become a major commuter route for frenzied motorists in a rush to get home. We have taken various measures over the past five years to get Burnaby to resolve this. This includes requesting speed bumps to slow traffic and discourage commuter traffic.”

The residents also submitted a petition and appeared as a delegation before the Public Safety Committee in May 2018 requesting closure of the access or other appropriate measures to address this situation. That was turned down.

“This decision to allow us, a local collector, to be flooded with commuter traffic makes no sense,” Flagel writes. “Based on what we are observing here, a vehicle every few seconds going either direction on this stretch of road, we do not agree that Burnaby’s traffic count of 3,000 vehicles in a 24-hour period is accurate. We need Burnaby to undertake a field observation at the highest peak times to assess the risk of this high traffic volume on its residents. Burnaby is denying us the right to have a safe and livable neighbourhood by allowing the huge number of commuter traffic on this street. It makes a complete mockery of their stated policy to protect neighbourhoods from shortcutting traffic especially when there is an adjacent street that is an arterial route.”

Duthie has been in the news lately after two people were killed in a crash in front of Montecito Elementary. Since then, the city added a raised crosswalk in an attempt to slow down drivers.