Speed humps in North Saanich aren’t quite what some residents expected. Some vehicles straddle the yellow centre line, putting tires in each of the channels and drive through – no bump.
“They’re pretty but useless,” said David Lionas, whose home looks out at one of the traffic calming bumps on Aldous Terrace.
“Some residents have told us that they are pleased with the new speed bumps and think they help, and some complain that they don’t do enough,” said Patrick O’Reilly, director of infrastructure services for North Saanich. “The idea is to try to have an impact there and if there’s anything we can do to improve it, we will. I do think that we need to give it a little time.”
Originally, residents were looking for a solution to speeders on Aldous and Bourne terraces.
“At that time, emergency services were opposed to bumps,” said O’Reilly. The fire department and ambulance service were concerned about response time, and patient comfort.
“We worked to come up with a design that would be acceptable to our fire department,” O’Reilly said. “Saanich had tried bumps with slots to allow (emergency services) vehicles through … so we modified those to suit our rural roads. Before construction, we circulated these designs amongst those residents that we could and there were no objections.”
The umps were installed at the end of October and at least one group of residents is unhappy with the the way drivers are using them.
“The people who were speeding are still speeding,” Ian Smith said during an impromptu roadside gathering of residents.
“These speed bumps are ineffective because people just pull up the middle … shooting through at well over the speed limit,” agreed Lionas. “They don’t hit any of the bumps at all.”
The terraces are used as shortcuts from the highway through to Saanichton, residents say.
“We have very few emergency vehicles come through here. They don’t use this as an emergency route,” added JoAnne Lemieux.
Karen Morwick heard a cyclist get struck by a vehicle on Bourne last summer and is concerned there’s a safety issue.
“It’s a busy road. It’s an extremely active road for bikes, walkers,” said Morwick.
Alf Berben noted Lochside Drive, in the section along the new roundabout, recently got speed humps without channels installed.
“It’s hogwash,” he said. “Why can every other municipality have them without channels and we have them? Either fill in the channels or put in one of those flexible posts in the middle.”
The district received a complaint that the Lochside speed humps aren’t achieving the goal of slowing drivers, either. As for the flexible pole in the middle, it is something they’ll look at.
“We’ve heard (that idea) and we’re investigating whether that will work,” O’Reilly said. “We’re listening and we will continue to monitor it.”
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