Slow down – ‘we live here’

Burnaby resident wants to make his Brentlawn Drive neighbourhood safer with improved traffic calming measures

The bus needs to go or speed bumps need to go in – either way, Brentlawn Drive residents in North Burnaby want the city to make a decision. But since making a presentation to the traffic and safety committee in November, resident Matthew Senf has yet to hear anything from the city.

Senf lives on Brentlawn Drive and presented to the committee to make them aware of the issues faced by the residents in regards to vehicle traffic, resulting in all-too-often property damage to the cars parked along the narrow street.

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According to ICBC data, from 2004 to 2011 there have been 45 incidents where property was damaged on Brentlawn Drive between Willingdon and Delta Avenue.

“Something can be done, it’s just the agenda and I get it, they have quite a bit on their plates,” Senf told the Burnaby NOW. “But we live here, too.”

Senf said all he and his neighbours want are significant traffic-calming measures on Brentlawn Drive to curb property damage and safety issues. The issue led to many of the neighbours compiling a report and presenting it to the committee in November.

“The residents of Brentlawn Drive have a long history of petitioning city council and the traffic safety committee, TransLink, Coast Mountain Bus Company and others for improvements in the safety and liveability of their street and neighbourhood,” he said.

Since the presentation about two months ago, Senf said no one has contacted him about the issue, despite asking the committee for action on it.

“In short, absolutely yes, we’ve been left hanging,” he told theNOW. “Nobody has written us. At the end of the day, I don’t care what the rules are, I pay taxes, I live on the street and our property has been damaged.”

At the last meeting, the committee told Senf a recent project in the Capitol Hill and Heights area lowered speed limits on residential streets to 40 kilometres an hour, that data is currently being reviewed and a report is forthcoming. The committee than referred his presentation to staff for a report.

The previous response Senf received was from Stuart Ramsey, Burnaby’s transportation manager, earlier in 2013 in response to a letter Senf had sent to the city on the issue.

In the letter, Ramsey said two reasons why the city does not recommend putting speed bumps on Brentlawn is because of the presence of the bus route and the road’s classification as a local collector.

“Our position regarding traffic calming for Brentlawn Drive has not changed from past years,” Ramsey added.

Local collectors are one step up from parallel streets that are local residential. Its function is to “provide access to and from a residential area,” according to Ramsey.

“The (Burnaby transportation plan) is supportive of encouraging alternatives to travelling by car, such as walking, cycling, and transit,” Ramsey states. “In Burnaby, that has largely been achieved.”

Ramsey also said a contributing factor to the volume of traffic on Brentlawn is that drivers are unable to turn left from eastbound Lougheed Highway to northbound Delta Avenue.

“As such, some drivers that would otherwise use that route are forced to access their neighbourhood in different ways, such as via Brentlawn Drive,” he said.

The city is updating the city’s transportation plan, which will be open to public input, he added, and include a review of the transit network.

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© 2018 Burnaby Now

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