The City of Nanaimo is installing two temporary speed humps in a three-month trial on Ross Road to gauge the effect on emergency services and speeding drivers. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

The City of Nanaimo is installing two temporary speed humps in a three-month trial on Ross Road to gauge the effect on emergency services and speeding drivers. (CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin)

Speed humps tested on Nanaimo’s Ross Road

Concerns from citizens and emergency services prompt trial of speed humps

Speedsters on Nanaimo’s Ross Road will have new incentive to slow down.

The City of Nanaimo is installing two temporary speed humps in a three-month trial on Ross Road to gauge the effect on emergency services and speeding drivers. The move is in response to citizens’ concerns and a review that found 15 per cent of vehicles were driving more than 64 kilometres per hour.

It will cost $22,000 to buy and install the speed humps, which can be reused.

It’s been needed for a long time, says resident Elaine Berg, who’s happy with the news.

“People speed down this road like crazy; it’s ridiculous. There’s deer, there’s kids and it’s dangerous,” said Berg, who’s lived on Ross Road for almost two decades.

Mark Ryan, who began a citizen petition about Ross Road safety, said residents are sick and tired of just about being rear ended trying to turn in to their own driveways and people come flying up behind them. He and neighbours have had pets hit by vehicles, he said.

“It’s just non-stop, 7 o’clock in the morning to midnight, it’s just boom, boom, boom, flying up and down this road and we’ve just had enough, ” he said. “This is a residential street. People think it’s a main road; it’s not.”

The city found in a survey that 60 per cent of area residents are supportive of traffic calming, but also heard, in consultation with emergency services, that Ross Road is a priority response route and traffic calming may adversely affect response times, a staff report shows. Jamie Rose, city transportation manager, said the city wants to do a pilot with emergency services to see if response times are actually significantly affected.

“It’s not a bad thing to trial traffic calming in any situation, but in this one in particular it’s even more warranted just to figure out what the impact on [emergency services] operations is,” he said.

City councillors were informed of the pilot at a committee of the whole meeting last week.

Coun. Bill Bestwick said he was not aware Ross Road has been a major problem, but has heard about many others. He wanted to know where the speed humps would go next.

“In my mind there’s other roads that are more significant than this one … because I haven’t heard any complaints from anybody at or near Ross Road,” he said.

Coun. Gord Fuller said he finds the rationale “wonky.”

“We’re either trying to slow down traffic or slow down fire trucks,” he said. “My ideas on testing something like this with response vehicles would be to do it on a street that isn’t so busy with speed.”

The speed humps will be installed between Emerald and Howden drives this summer. The city will consider making traffic calming permanent, after collecting data from emergency services, doing a traffic count and looking at the impacts.

news@nanaimobulletin.com

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