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'Quality of life is not enjoyable': North Burnaby residents want their street closed to commuters

Access to Barnet Highway via Duthie Avenue is causing headaches
Duthie traffic
Audrey Flagel says she's tired of the traffic on the street outside her home.

Audrey Flagel hasn’t been able to enjoy the hot summer months on the patio of her North Burnaby townhouse.

“Quality of life is not enjoyable, listening to the traffic continuously,” she said. “I might as well be sitting on a highway.”

In the six years she’s lived in the housing complex between Duthie Avenue and Barnet Highway, Flagel said the amount of traffic has increased dramatically. Commuters take Duthie to access Barnet via Ridge Drive, she says. 

It’s the high volume and speeds of vehicles on Duthie that bothers Flagel and her neighbours, 40 of whom signed a petition presented to the City of Burnaby’s public safety committee in May.

“We've become an extension of Barnet Highway,” she said. “When I open my windows, it feels like the traffic is coming through my place.”

Flagel wants to see the Ridge Drive access to Barnet closed off entirely and Duthie reserved for local neighbourhood traffic only.

“Some residents may use [the highway access], but for all intents and purposes it just causes us excessive noise, high vehicle emissions, and it's not necessary because it doesn't serve the purpose for us.”

Since speaking to the municipal committee, Flagel said she hasn’t received any updates about a promised review of the situation by city staff.

The chair of the committee, Coun. Pietro Calendino, said he wasn’t present for the meeting when Flagel’s group presented. He said he wasn’t sure whether a review had been completed at this time. (Calendino said he would check with staff and get back in touch with the NOW. This story will be updated if he does.)

But Calendino said he didn’t think much could be done to reduce traffic on Duthie. 

“Duthie is a major thoroughfare; I'm not sure that we can block it because a few people don't like the traffic,” he said. “I live on a major street, Hastings, I would like to block the traffic from Coquitlam. Can I do that? No.”