Luanne Patterson asked the city to get motorists to slow down along Clayburn Road, where the 30 km/h speed limit is rarely obeyed. File photo

Luanne Patterson asked the city to get motorists to slow down along Clayburn Road, where the 30 km/h speed limit is rarely obeyed. File photo

City to put brakes on Clayburn Road speeders

City of Abbotsford staff asked to come up with plan to slow traffic in historic neighbourhood

Clayburn Village residents who have been complaining for decades about traffic finally got some good news Monday as city staff were instructed to come up with a plan to put the brakes on speeders and make the area safer for pedestrians.

In February, Luanne Patterson, the president of the Clayburn Village Community Society, asked the city to implement traffic-calming measures and sidewalks to slow unchecked speeding on Clayburn Road. A traffic analysis by the city found six of every seven drivers were speeding, with many exceeding the 30 km/h limit.

Patterson said the speeding and lack of sidewalks along Clayburn Road “affects the community’s use of the village, puts our families and friends in harm’s way and impacts the small businesses located along the road … A catastrophic accident involving serious injury or death appears inevitable.”

And she noted that the community had been complaining about the issue for 25 years, with no resolution. In 2008, the city even received $100,000 from a developer for traffic measures

Council recently agreed that it was time for the issue to finally be addressed.

“Twenty-five years is quite a long time to wait,” Mayor Henry Braun said. “I identify with the community.”

Coun. Patricia Ross said slowing down traffic, thereby reducing the vibration from vehicles along the road, is particularly important given the age and historical value of many of the structures in the area.

Coun. Dave Loewen agreed the move was overdue, and noted that cycling in the area “is a bit of Russian roulette.”

While Braun said the request for a sidewalk and a crosswalk are “fairly straightforward,” the speed humps requested by the residents might be less likely.

Because of the road’s designation as a collector route, such physical traffic-calming measures aren’t usually used. But infrastructure planning director Purvez Irani said there are other “passive” options that could slow traffic, including lane markings and curb abutments that would narrow the travelling portion of the road – a change that can often get drivers to subconsciously slow their driving.

Abbotsford City Hall