Almost six months after the City of North Vancouver’s traffic calming measures and uphill bike lane were installed on St. Andrews Avenue, some residents on the corridor say it’s time to send the project back to the drawing board.
In an effort to slow down vehicle traffic between 13th Street and Keith Road, the city made St. Andrews narrower by moving the northbound parking lane into the street, and used the extra curb space for an uphill mobility lane.
But, neighbours and drivers have found the changes confusing, and possibly counterproductive, with poor sight lines near intersections, St. Andrews area residents Dennis Hilton and Bradley Hodson, who owns the commercial heritage building at the corner of Eighth and St. Andrews, told council in their pitch for a redesign Monday night.
Anecdotally, it doesn’t appear the changes have had the intended effect of slowing down drivers, they added.
“Drivers have adjusted their driving behaviour to suit the conditions so speeds remain the same,” Hodson said.
Hodson and Hilton said they’d like to see the city designate St. Andrews as a AAA local street bikeway (meaning it is designed to be safe and feel comfortable for people of all ages and abilities) with parking restored to the curbside. Typically a local bikeway involves having physical traffic calming elements to slow down drivers or dissuade them from choosing that route. Hilton and Hodson, though, specified they didn’t want to see any barriers put up and suggested instead that the city control driver speed with more four-way stops and speed humps.
Any potential changes should first come to area residents before going to council for a final decision, Hodson and Hilton added.
“It’s important to note that we are not resisting change based on our personal experiences of the changes. We are resisting the design,” Hilton said.
According to city staff, public consultations on potential changes to St. Andrews will start near the end of January with one-on-one and small group meetings followed by a wider online engagement process later in February.
Coun. Shervin Shahriari expressed hope that the next iteration of the traffic calming on St. Andrews would be agreed to by residents petitioning for change but also cautioned that everyone may have to accept a compromise.