The city is considering easing the requirements for neighbourhoods to get traffic calming devices like raised crosswalks installed on their local roads.PHOTO: City of Abbotsford agenda package

Abbotsford may make it easier for residents to get traffic-calming devices in their neighbourhoods

City staff suggests easing criteria for roads to qualify for traffic-calming measures

It may soon be easier for Abbotsford residents to convince the city to install traffic-calming measures on neighbourhood streets.

When residents make requests for features like speed humps and raised sidewalks in their neighbourhoods, staff use several criteria to decide whether to proceed with calming measures.

But the city is looking at easing the criteria, to possibly make it easier for residents to get the speed-lowering devices they want – particularly near elementary schools and in tight laneways.

The topic first went to a city committee over the summer. On Thursday, staff returned to the committee that deals with transportation topics and recommend easing a variety of the criteria.

FROM 2017: No traffic calming needed for Abbotsford neighbourhood: city staff

FROM 2019: Speed humps coming to two Abbotsford neighbourhoods

At the moment, only roads with traffic of at least 1,000 vehicles each day qualify for traffic calming. Staff is suggesting to halve that threshold, to 500 cars. Instead of 15% of all vehicles travelling 10 km/h over the speed limit, staff recommends the speed threshold be reduced to five km/h over the limit.

Staff also wants to firm up language on how many local residents must be in favour of traffic calming. Now, half of all affected homeowners must respond to a survey and, of those responding, two-thirds must approve. That threshold used to be set at 60 per cent of all affected homeowners – that language was vague and required a high survey response rate for any traffic-calming project to pass.

Council must also approve any traffic-calming installations.

The Development, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee endorsed the idea, which is also under review by the city’s legal team. Because it is an administrative policy, council does not need to sign off on it.

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