Old Yale speedway gets lanes trimmed

Council agrees to reduce travel lanes from four to two on Abbotsford road

A four-lane stretch of Old Yale Road notorious for speed scofflaws is getting an overhaul.

The road will be reduced to two travel lanes between Eagle Mountain Drive and Whatcom Road, with a centre turning lane and bike lanes added in each direction. A crossing signal will also be installed at DeLair Park.

Staff say traffic on Old Yale isn’t heavy enough to require four travel lanes now or in the foreseeable future. But speed is an issue, particularly in the 30 km/h playground zone beside DeLair Park.

Mayor Henry Braun and several councillors expressed hope that the changes may slow traffic down while also bolstering the cycling infrastructure in the area. Coun. Les Barkman cast the lone vote against the changes.

“As a general rule, I’m not overly excited about taking traffic lanes away on busy roads,” Coun. Ross Siemens said.

But he said he accepted staff’s assurances regarding traffic volume.

“The speeding … is a huge challenge in the area and I think the bike lanes and the narrower travel lanes I think will slow the traffic down. I think the science has proven that.”

Coun. Dave Loewen noted that, several years ago, city made similar changes on Peardonville, Road, which he said “was a virtual highway.”

“Lo and behold, the traffic has slowed down and it continues to move, and there’s room for bicyclists.”

And Braun said the move will ensure that speeders can’t rush past those obeying the posted limits.

But Barkman wasn’t persuaded. He said Old Yale is a “busy, busy street,” and expressed skepticism that the new design of the road would be adequate as more people move to the area in the coming years.

“We don’t have a lot of east-west roads,” he said.

Barkman later told The News that Peardonville still has traffic issues, and that narrowing Old Yale could lead to issues. He was also skeptical about the suitability of bike lanes for the road, and said cycling lanes need to be implemented as part of a comprehensive plan.

City staff are currently crafting a new Transportation Master Plan, but a draft has not yet been seen by the public or come before council.

As for the speeding, Barkman told council that Old Yale, like other streets in Abbotsford, could use some more speed enforcement. (Braun later said that the city doesn’t “have enough police officers to write tickets all across the largest geographical city in the province.”)

During the council discussion, Loewen also urged staff to provide a better east-west route across Sumas Way for cyclists. Loewen said that at some Sumas Way intersections, “cyclists take their lives into their own hands if they want to make that trip.”

Staff also told council that although volumes don’t yet meet the threshold for a traffic signal at Old Yale and Marshall, that may change in the near future.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Rescue boat theft marks third in 3 years for Agassiz-based SAR team

Eight-metre Spirit of Harrison rescue vessel was stolen Friday night, found Saturday morning

Fraser Valley real estate predicted to slow down in 2018

B.C. Real Estate Association forecasts a cooling market

Two charged in relation to 2017 house-party shooting

Four people were injured in incident a year ago in Abbotsford

Senior spent nearly a week in Abbotsford hospital hallway

Congestion at Abbotsford Regional Hospital continues to be a problem, despite long-term optimism from officials

City’s bid for $6 million to improve Fraser Highway denied

Abbotsford had hoped to use money on improvements to Fraser Highway

VIDEO: B.C. Mounties reunite veteran with lost military medals

RCMP say Zora Singh Tatla, who served in the army in India for 28 years, is the righful owner

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Horse found stuck in muddy field rescued in Maple Ridge

Maple Ridge firefighters set up a pulley system to drag the horse to solid ground

VIDEO: Two Maple Ridge contortionists have sights set on Cirque

The Pair competed at the Viva festival in Vegas and are now auditioning for spot on America’s Got Talent

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Most Read