Courtenay council decides against traffic calming for street

No traffic calming measures will be implemented in the Old Orchard area after Courtenay staff completed a traffic study.

No traffic calming measures will be implemented in the Old Orchard area after Courtenay staff completed a traffic study.

Lesley Hatch, municipal engineer for Courtenay, noted a traffic study was completed in the area between Jan. 7 and 11 this year in response to a December request from council for one.

“After reviewing the data City staff concluded that traffic calming measures are not warranted at this time,” wrote Courtenay director of operational services Kevin Lagan in a report to council.

Council requested the traffic study after two different petitions from area residents. Council first received a petition in the fall, which was signed by 18 residents representing 10 area properties, and requested Johnston Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets be closed to outside traffic.

The second petition came before council in December, requesting Fourth Street be partially closed to prevent vehicles from heading west on Fourth Street to Johnston Avenue.

Past Courtenay councillor and current Comox Valley MLA Don McRae and his wife made up two signatures on the petitions, and City CAO Sandy Gray and his wife made up another two. Gray was not present during council discussion to avoid a conflict of interest.

Safety concerns were cited as the reason for the requests.

However, Lagan’s report noted the traffic study indicated that during peak hours just four vehicles traveled north on Johnston Avenue and 19 travelled south. The report noted northbound vehicles passed by with 85th percentile speeds of nearly 30 kilometres per hour and northbound traffic passed by at just over 37 kilometres per hour.

“The 85th percentile being the speed that we’re looking for to verify the speed limit in the area, which is 50 kilometres an hour,” added Hatch in her verbal report to council. “The vehicles that were tracked through this examination were well below the speed limit at this intersection.”

Council unanimously approved the staff recommendation that no traffic calming measures be undertaken.

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