Category Archives: traffic

For DNV Council, a chicken and egg question

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District of North Vancouver Council debated a chicken and egg question last week. Only in this case it was, which comes first, housing or transportation?

The DNV amended its official community plan to move the Maplewood Village project forward with an anticipated 1,500 condo and townhouse units between Dollarton Highway and Mt. Seymour Parkway.

The North Shore News covered the debate here:

http://www.nsnews.com/news/district-of-north-van-advances-maplewood-village-plan-1.23169131

During the debate Councillor Jim Hanson said, ““Once we’ve started to address our transportation issues – at least have a plan – that’s when we would turn our minds to bringing more people into the community in this location.” His comments reflected the nightmare of traffic issues faced by the North Shore and recently reported in a survey by the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce.

https://delbrookca.wordpress.com/2018/01/16/north-van-chamber-of-commerce-pleads-for-action-on-traffic-concerns/

Other Councillors, however, argued that if we would only add more housing we might get more transit. Coun. Mathew Bond, adding there is a strong indication a B-line bus will be routed through Maplewood.

Lisa Muri said the proposed mid-rise towers would not provide affordable housing. Coun. Robin Hicks suggested the homes would be “relatively affordable.”

The vote passed 6-1 with Coun. Jim Hanson opposed.

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what do north shore community associations want? the Global Canadian asks

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The Global Canadian, the North Shore’s new newspaper, has focused its second issue of 2018 on what community associations on the North Shore are looking for in 2018. There are a lot of common issues among the City and District of North Vancouver and the District of West Vancouver.

The current issue of the Global Canadian will soon be online and you will be able to find it here:

http://www.theglobalcanadian.com/

globalCommunity associations from all three North Shore local governments shared many common issues including traffic, housing, development and the need for Councils to listen..

Housing was a major issue. Rene Gourley from the DNV’s Delbrook Community Association raised issues about a proposed housing complex on the Delbrook lands calling for an increased proportion of family oriented housing rather than studio apartments.

West Vancouver’s Western Residents Association talked about quality of life issues including affordable housing and traffic. City respondent Fred Dawkins spoke to the issue of the “massive condo building boom,” while DNV resident Corrie Kost said the residential building boom had meant much more development than was anticipated in the Official Community Plan. The City’s Grand Boulevard Ridgeway Residents Association talked about the loss of older, more affordable rental housing and the fact the City was already growing faster than anticipated in the Metro Vancouver Regional Growth Strategy. The Pemberton Heights community spoke to the issue of overwhelming densification along Marine Drive.

A number of groups linked rapid growth to the transit troubles. The Norgate Community Association raised concerns about traffic detouring through their community to avoid the gridlock on Marine Drive. The Pemberton Heights community also talked about cars racing through their neighbourhood while the City’s Grand Boulevard Ridgeway Residents Association talked about gridlock on East Keith Road and Grand Boulevard.  The DNV’s Delbrook Community Association called for a moratorium on major developments in the District to give the DNV time to look at traffic issues.

One other common issue was the need for Councils to listen more to their communities. The City’s Fred Dawkins called for greater transparency and the encouragement of public input.  The latter call was echoed by the City’s Amanda Nichol. The Delbrook Community Association asked the District to pay more attention to community associations and to answer our correspondence. The Dunderave Ratepayers Association called for public input to be encouraged and for all relevant information to be made available. The DNV’s Pemberton Heights said, “When you ask for our opinion – LISTEN!”

The Global Canadian has played a valuable role in giving space to community associations to share their views.

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North Van Chamber of Commerce pleads for action on traffic concerns

 

“One of the courier dispatchers for a service located in Delta called coming to North Vancouver ‘the seventh circle of hell’.”
On January 16th the North Shore Chamber of Commerce released highlights of a survey they had conducted in the business community about the impacts of traffic gridlock on the North Shore. The quote that introduces this article was one of the responses.
The survey was released at an invitation only summit  for local mayors, MLAs and MPs, which called on leaders to develop a bold, long-term vision for transportation in the region, and to include business at the table as solutions are being developed. Kevin Desmond, CEO of Translink, was also in attendance.
The results of the Chamber’s survey may be found here:
The survey found businesses on the North Shore had problems moving their products and with the fact that many of their employees commuted to the North Shore in impossible traffic. One respondent asked, “How can we ask people to work for our company when it takes them 2 hours to commute here?” Half of respondents reported that traffic issues raised problems attracting and retaining customers. Many of the businesses surveyed report they are considering moving off the North Shore.
Two other quotes reported in the survey were:
“All meetings and dealings with potential clients must be scheduled within a very narrow
4 – hour window or else nobody can get to where they need to be.”
and
“Timing is everything! Go nowhere before 9:30am and be off the road by 3:00pm
 The Chamber press release is here:

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DNV responds to Delbrook traffic concerns. Changes “considered” and dependent on “capital funding”

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The District of North Vancouver has responded to a November 15, 2017 letter from the Delbrook Comuity Association (DCA) raising concerns about traffic safety on Delbrook Avenue and adjacent streets.

The DCA letter raised five concerns touching on speeding on Delbrook, lack of signage, lack of speeding enforcement and the dangerous pedestrian crosswalk at Windsor and Delbrook. The DCA had also raised these concerns in 2016.

In its December 21, 2017 response the District’s traffic section said “the District is looking into installing speed limit signage to remind drivers of the posted speed limit.” The District is also “requesting that periodic speed enforcement on Delbrook Avenue be considered by the RCMP.”

With respect to the Windsor pedestrian crossing, The District is planning on upgrading some of the pedestrian crosswalks with Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons (RRFBs), subject to annual capital funding in 2018. The crosswalk at Delbrook Avenue and Windsor Road has been identified as one of the locations to be upgraded.”

While the contents of the letter are encouraging, they are still far from a solid commitment to improvements. “Looking into” things, a “request” that might be considered and changes “subject to annual capital funding”  leave a lot of wiggle room.

Delbrook residents have also been raising more traffic concerns. On November 16th, the day after the DCA letter was sent, a pedestrian was struck and seriously injured at the marked Delbrook and Evergreen crosswalk. Police report the driver said, “he did not see the pedestrian because of heavy rainfall and poor visibility.” The Evergreen crossing is a particular concern because of the number of children who use it to get to school.

Residents have also raised concerns about traffic on Windsor Road. One resident has already been struck by a car on the Road which is often used as a shortcut at speed by people avoiding Queens Road. As well, the jam of regular parking by movie shoots has made crossing Windsor at Stanley and St. James or turns at the intersection dangerous as parked cars from the movie industry using the old Delbrook Rec Centre site make seeing oncoming traffic difficult.

Have you got other concerns about traffic in the Delbrook community? Please share these concerns here or on the DCA’s Facebook or Twitter sites.

You can find the earlier DCA post on Delbrook traffic here:

https://delbrookca.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/the-delbrook-speedway-and-windsor-roads-dangerous-crosswalk/

You can find the police report on the accident on Evergreen here:

http://bc.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/ViewPage.action?siteNodeId=205&contentId=53312&languageId=1

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The Delbrook Speedway and Windsor Road’s Dangerous Crosswalk

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For more than two years the Delbrook Community Association (DCA) has been raising issues with the District of North Vancouver and the RCMP about speeding on Delbrook Avenue, and speeding on Windsor Road and residential streets in the upper Delbrook area. The DCA has also raised concerns about the danger to pedestrians in the crosswalk at Windsor Road and Delbrook.

Separately, several of residents in the community have also been raising their concerns about the Delbrook/Windsor crosswalk with the District. At least three of these local residents had almost been run down while crossing the road.

IMG_0711

The Delbrook speedway with its frequently ignored crosswalk

The good news is that the local residents at least have been given some indication there may be improvements in the crosswalk. More on this later.

In May 2016, the DCA wrote to the District raising issues of speeding and traffic signage on Delbrook. The letter also asked for more crosswalks on the street and particularly for better controls at the Windsor intersection. Six months later, the District responded. The letter from the District suggested that since 85% of traffic on Delbrook was at less than 68.6 km/h (the speed limit is 50 km/h) there was not a speeding concern. The District said they were conducting a study to see if the Delbrook/Windsor intersection qualified to be upgraded to a “special crosswalk.”

Earlier this November, a year after the District’s last response, the Delbrook Community Association wrote once more to the DNV raising the following five points:

  1. As has previously been observed by traffic studies, much of the traffic on Delbrook is in excess of the 50 kph speed limit. This leads to other concerns such as the following.
  2. The top of Delbrook curves just before its junction with Granada. Making a right-hand turn from Granada onto Delbrook is extremely dangerous as the sightline is not clear and cars coming down from Delbrook are on a curve which means they may not see drivers turning until it is too late.  As noted above, this problem is exacerbated by the speed of the traffic. There needs to be signage at the top of Delbrook with a curve sign and notification of cars exiting from Granada.
  3. Drivers on Delbrook need to be reminded of the speed limit. We suggest two speed limit signs to be erected on each side of the road in an attempt to get people to slow down. Brakes must be applied when descending Delbrook or acceleration occurs quickly and dangerously
  4. The cross walk at Delbrook and Windsor is particularly dangerous due to speeding cars. This cross walk needs to be lighted with flashing lights to ensure speeders descending Delbrook have time to slow down and stop. We understand this intersection may not meet the specific requirements for lighted signage, but the degree to which drivers ignore the crosswalk, particularly for children, indicates more needs to be done.
  5. Finally, traffic speed on Delbrook needs enforcement. While our recommendations would help the situation, the realistic expectation that traffic laws would be enforced would go even further. We request speed traps be set up for Delbrook Avenue – preferably twice per month – for at least two months.

In a response to individual residents who have raised the issue, the DNV transportation department says they have identified the Windsor crosswalk as a priority for safety improvements in the 2018 Budget. The transportation department said they had received positive feedback about the use of Rapid Flashing Beacons and that this would be considered among other options. This will be more than two years after concerns about this intersection were raised.

This would be an excellent start but speeding also needs to be addressed, both on the Delbrook Speedway and on adjoining streets. Windsor Road itself sees too much fast traffic and at least one resident was struck by a car.

We will post the DNV response to the letter from the Delbrook Community Association when it is received.

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Big thanks to North Van Community Policing Volunteers

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Thanks to North Vancouver’s Community Policing Volunteers for helping us out on the Delbrook Speedway! You are welcome back any time.

police volunteers

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The North Shore traffic snarl up – things will get much worse

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Did you know the Second Narrows Bridge is the busiest bridge in the lower mainland? The Port Mann used to carry more traffic up until 2009. Now traffic has fallen off significantly from the Port Mann crossing while the Second Narrows still continues to carry nearly 120,000 vehicles a day.

The news was carried in a Vancouver Sun analysis on December 16 which can be found here:

North Van the new Port Mann? North Shore bridges at 'tipping point'

The article goes on to describe the North Shores ongoing transportation woes. One transportation authority is quoted as describing a “tipping point” when even a small amount of extra traffic causes blockage. The DNV’s general manager of engineering is quoted as saying, Perhaps we should have seen it coming. Highway 1 was upgraded to eight lanes, while the North Shore’s section of road is just four. It was like squeezing a big pipe into a smaller one.

Eric Andersen, President of the Blueridge Community Association says, “It’s not worth my while. I don’t want to be anywhere near Highway No. 1 after 2 p.m. Chances are I’m going to sit in traffic and steam…What used to take 20 minutes now takes one-and-a-half hours. It’s horrible.”

DNV Councillor Lisa Muri says “It’s going to get much worse.” The article says Muri “believes development should be held back to give time for road-building and bus routes to catch up. But her views won’t likely be heeded because she’s in the minority on council.”

It may indeed get much worse with significant growth planned aon the North Shore and in communities north of here.

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