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Ratrunner rolling car is the last straw for this Burnaby neighbourhood

Brentlawn residents want safety changes
Brentlawn crash 2
A vehicle crashed on Brentlawn Drive.

Matthew Senf and his neighbours have had enough.

Actually, they had already had enough well before a ratrunner rolled their vehicle on their street last week trying to outrun traffic.

But the crash just put a rotting cherry on top of their displeasure of ratrunners racing along Brentwood Drive in North Burnaby.

“The sound of screeching tires, smashing metal and shattered glass once again resounded through the quiet streets of Brentwood last week when a speeding motorist, trying to outrun the traffic on Lougheed, collided with other vehicles and flipped his car into the middle of the street, halting traffic and interrupting a transit route for more than an hour,” Senf told the NOW. “Sadly, the neighbourhood is nonplussed by this reckless threat to life and limb as it happens far too often.”

Senf said that in 2013, the residents of Brentlawn Drive brought a “comprehensive” traffic study to the attention of the Traffic Safety Committee in an effort to bring “real traffic calming” to this narrow street. 1.4 meters, in the neighbourhood without these safety measures already in place. In response, the city added one more stop sign and said that traffic calming could not be placed on Brentlawn because the three-block street is a bus route. 

“When it was pointed out to them that other municipalities have a myriad of different traffic-calming solutions on many other bus routes, their response was to make the road safer by removing its status as a designated bike lane,” Senf said. “In the face of such an overwhelming lack of common sense, desire to protect the streets of one of Burnaby’s oldest and most well-established residential neighborhoods, and a stupefying absence of political will, what is a voting citizen to do?”

Brentlawn is so narrow that in 2019, the City of Burnaby installed “no parking” signs in an attempt to end head-to-head showdowns between buses.

Major construction at Brentwood Town Centre has drawn some 700 workers to the area every weekday, many of whom park on the surrounding residential streets, according staff.

Vehicles parked on both sides of Brentlawn have choked it down to one travel lane often leading TransLink bus drivers along Route 134 to meet head-on in the middle of the block.

“If one bus is approaching from Beta and another one is approaching from the Fairlawn side, they can’t see each other because of the length of the block, and there’s a little bit of grade difference,” Burnaby’s assistant director of engineering Doug Louie told the city’s public safety committee in November.