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Confused about upcoming North Burnaby traffic barriers? The city wants to know

Burnaby voted in September 2023 to add permanent barriers to three side streets in the Capitol Hill neighbourhood to avoid "rat running."
Temporary traffic barriers along Penzance Drive in Burnaby at Gamma Avenue, a laneway, and Beta Avenue will be made permanent.

Penzance Drive has been a hotspot for "rat running" for Burnaby's Capitol Hill neighbourhood, according to residents and councillors.

The action, when drivers shortcut traffic by taking local roads instead of arterials, had been reported by concerned citizens for many years.

In September 2023, Burnaby city council unanimously voted to permanently install barriers for general traffic at three side streets south of Penzance Drive: Gamma Avenue, Beta Avenue and the laneway.

Now, the city is set to share details of the North Burnaby Traffic Calming project and study with interested residents at an open house on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

In a news release, the city explains the in-person gathering will explain the upcoming closures and safety improvements.

The permanent barriers will still allow access to emergency vehicles.

A new vibrancy was also brought to the area with the temporary barriers, said Coun. Daniel Tetrault, who made the motion to keep the barriers at the Aug. 28 council meeting.

"Since the temporary barriers were put in place, residents have finally been able to enjoy calm and safe streets," Tetrault said, noting residents told him before the barriers were put in place, they would "lock themselves in their house, close their windows and not really go outside."

Capitol Hill includes steep hills, twisting roads with blind corners, hidden driveways, high hedges and few sidewalks, a recent letter to council expressed.

The city said traffic calming measures create accessibility and "foster healthier and more sustainable modes of transportation."

Representatives from the North Burnaby Traffic Calming project team will be on ahdn to answer questions from those that attend the drop-in open house.

The free event takes place Feb. 21 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Confederation Seniors' Centre (4585 Albert St.).

For more information, you can visit the City of Burnaby's website.

- with files from Lauren Vanderdeen, Burnaby NOW