Too many people in Cumberland are driving dangerously, say members of council.
The ongoing issue surfaced at a committee of the whole (COW) meeting on Jan. 25, at which council gave direction to staff to look at next steps for bringing in a general 30 km/h speed zone in residential areas.
Mayor Leslie Baird brought up the matter of the village’s transportation assessment, saying she has heard from many people that they want lower speeds and she would like to have something implemented before summer.
“We have a tremendous amount of traffic in the summer months,” she said. “I would rather be on the side of being safe.”
Other communities on Vancouver Island have been looking into the same measures for residential neighbourhoods, and council did bring up the matter last September.
“We were going to postpone that until we actually did the traffic study,” Baird said. “I’ve received numerous letters and phone calls from people that would like us not to wait and to implement that…. I’ve also heard from a number of people where they’ve seen near misses of children…. That really scares me.”
She identified priority areas as from Hope Road coming into the village along Cumberland Road and from Ulverston coming in from Royston. She also mentioned Comox Lake Road to the park because of traffic and parking volume. Another challenge, she added, is the number of streets that do not have sidewalks.
Some on council were not sure about the blanket zone but all agreed driving is a problem.
“People are just not slowing down,” said Coun. Gwyn Sproule. “It’s not even summer.”
Coun. Vickey Brown talked about a recent accident on Kendal Avenue that terrified people, as a car hit a vehicle in the driveway and moved it well over two metres across a lawn.
“We’ve been hearing from that neighbourhood forever about the issue with traffic,” she said.
However, Brown questioned whether signs marking slower speeds alone would do much to alleviate the problem and suggested staff look into traffic calming measures as well as public education. In addition, she said the community could put up a large entrance sign reminding people that Cumberland is a ‘slow’ community.
Baird agreed that too many drivers are already ignoring speed and stops signs and more needs to be done to educate people, but she added this is a way to start tacking the problem.
“I know the rest will come, but it’s just the first step to get something going,” she said.
Council’s COW passed the motion for staff to put together a report about bringing in blanket zones in Cumberland.