Nanaimo city council has voted to deploy speed-reduction measures for the summer along Departure Bay Road and to consult with area residents and road users to explore ways to further reduce vehicle speeds in the Departure Bay Beach area. (News Bulletin file photo)

Nanaimo city council has voted to deploy speed-reduction measures for the summer along Departure Bay Road and to consult with area residents and road users to explore ways to further reduce vehicle speeds in the Departure Bay Beach area. (News Bulletin file photo)

City will again lower speed limit on Departure Bay Road to 40km/h

City of Nanaimo will consult with stakeholders for ideas to reduce speeds past the beach

Vehicle velocities on Departure Bay Road continue to vex city council and staff.

With summer approaching, city staff turned to council for direction at a meeting Monday on what measures should be used to further slow vehicles passing Departure Bay Beach and Kinsman Park between Wingrove and Bay streets.

According to city data, about 13,000 vehicles pass that way daily, but in the summer months more cyclists and pedestrians are sharing the road or crossing to and from Departure Bay Beach.

Drivers normally drive through at six to nine kilometres per hour above the 50km/h speed limit.

In 2019 the city lowered speed limits on the stretch of road from 50km/h to 40km/h for the summer months and set up a speed display board, but those measures only caused drivers to slow down by 1-3km/h, noted a staff report. In 2020 the 40km/h seasonal speed limit was posted again, but this time traffic-calming curbs were added, which dropped speeds an additional 1-3km/h to 54km/h.

With traffic-calming measures proving relatively ineffective, additional measures were considered at Monday’s meeting, which included adding vertical deflection structures – speed humps – to the section of road for this summer.

“Staff is reluctant to put in vertical deflections … the major road and its arterial function makes vertical deflections less desirable for our partners in transit, emergency services, goods movement and city public works,” said Barbara Thomas, city assistant manager of transportation.

City staff proposed 2020’s temporary traffic-calming measures be deployed for 2021 and consult with residents and other stakeholders to explore ideas to improve pedestrian safety for the 2022 summer season.

Coun. Tyler Brown said he spends considerable time in the area and the number of crosswalks between Wingrove and Bay streets is inadequate.

“I’m curious. Has it ever been contemplated making Departure Bay Road, from Wingrove Street to Bay Street, all a crosswalk?” Brown asked “So, it would essentially be a completely shared space with speeds reduced to respect that.”

Coun. Don Bonner supported the idea and suggested adding thickness to the pavement in a “raised table” from Loat to Bay streets plus rumble strips to force drivers down to the 40km/h speed limit.

“You’ve got my full support to go hog wild on this,” Bonner said.

Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog said he has driven the stretch of road twice a day for 38 years and thought converting the block entirely into a crosswalk would delay traffic, create frustration and wouldn’t improve safety.

“I’m not convinced we have the evidence there is the danger there,” Krog said. “There’s an anticipated danger and can be frightening and I get that, but I just have not observed what I will call serious or dangerous speeding. There’s a playground there … I think most people are terribly conscious of the high risk that area has for injury to pedestrians.”

There already is a year-round 30km/h speed limit past the playground area on Departure Bay Road.

Council voted unanimously to direct city staff to implement the same seasonal speed limit and traffic calming measures used in 2020 and initiate stakeholder consultation for further traffic calming measures for summer 2022.



photos@nanaimobulletin.com
Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

City Hallspeed limitsTraffic

Just Posted

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-staff as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Curl B.C. chairperson Teri Palynchuk is this year’s winner of the Janette Robbins Award for leadership. Palynchuk is pictured here with the Curling Canada Foundation Cup along with past chairperson Peter Muir, left, and Curl B.C. CEO Scott Braley. (Photo courtesy Curl B.C.)
Nanaimo curling exec wins Curl B.C. leadership award

Teri Palynchuk receives Janette Robbins Award

(Black Press file photo)
RCMP: Air ambulance called to Whiskey Creek after crash involving 2 motorbikes

Both riders taken to hospital with serious injuries

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

CVSAR search the Puntledge River following a report of an abandoned kayak. Photo, CVSAR Facebook page
Comox Valley Search and Rescue spends four hours searching for no one

Overturned kayak a reminder for public to contact officials if they have to abandon a watercraft

Most Read