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Opinion: City eyes speed humps on two notorious ratrunner routes, but residents want more

Readers list other streets that need speed humps
brentlawn crash
This ratrunner rolled their vehicle in the Brentwood area back in May.

Some good news seems to be coming to two Burnaby neighbourhoods suffering the effects of ratrunners.

On Monday, council looks ready to approve the installation of speed humps on the following two locations: Hythe Avenue, north from Dundas Street to Cambridge Street in the Capitol Hill area, plus on Beta Avenue, from Brentlawn Drive to Southlawn Drive in Brentwood, just north of the mall.

Both of these areas have been plagued by ratrunners looking to avoid Hastings in Capitol Hill and Lougheed in Brentwood during peak rush-hour times.

The Brentwood-area humps are interesting because this stretch of Beta is just west from where a ratrunner rolled vehicle on Brentwood Drive back in May.

“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,” area resident Matthew Senf told the NOW. “Sadly, the neighbourhood is nonplussed by this reckless threat to life and limb as it happens far too often.”

Readers have previously told me other areas that are in dire need of speed humps.

  1. Armstrong Avenue and Cumberland Street. Readers say ratrunners speed along Amstrong to avoid heavier traffic on 16th and 10th during rush hour times. Things get rough at Cumberland, tweeted @JustinNTurcotte: “A designated bike route that is completely dangerous and near-impossible to cross during commuting hours.”
  2. Reader @Swampo nominated Cliff Avenue and Curtis for people trying to avoid Duthie during busy times, saying it’s difficult to cross. “But, overall, kudos to City of Burnaby for improvements over the years on my commute from Barnet to Central Park. Excited for the new bike path along Kensington.”
  3. A reader who wanted to go by the name of Barnicus said that in the Edmonds/High Gate area, it’s 16th Avenue because people are trying to avoid Kingsway and Edmonds Street. But the street isn't designed for fast-moving traffic as drivers race east and west, making life dangerous for area residents, many of whom are children.

Ratrunning is a dangerous game because many of these routes are narrow and drivers are racing to make up time after being stuck in traffic.

It’s tempting to turn onto one of these side streets and floor it, but drivers must remember the dangers they pose to people who live in these quiet neighbourhoods when they speed through them.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.