The following recommendations are the result of correspondence between four residents (Roslynne Taylor, Sher Keady, Sharon Cornet, and Sheila Evans ) and the Mayor following his attendance at the Founding Meeting of the VHGDRA on March 7, 2019. Lisa Leblanc, Transportation Manager for the City of New Westminster, responded to the suggestions submitted by these residents. After consultation with the VHGDRA Executive Committee, here are the recommendations for consideration by the membership at the June 26 General Meeting.
Actions Initiated by Lisa Leblanc in Response to Feedback from the VHGDRA General Meeting on May 2, 2019
- Encouraging visitors to use on-site visitor parking. We are working on signage to be placed on-street to encourage use of on-site visitor parking; we are also working on a letter to be sent to all property managers, with suggested wording for a bulletin or poster to encourage residents to encourage visitors to park on-site rather than on-street.
- Car share – we are working with MODO to have a reserved space created onstreet for the MODO car which is currently stored at Parkside, to free up that space for Parkside use. Also, we are working with EVO to locate two reserved EVO spaces on street, one at either end of the neighbourhood.
- Bus service improvements – we are continuing our discussions with TransLink to advocate for improved peak hour bus service for Victoria Hill.
- On-street stopping in front of “The Grove” on Francis St. We are working on options to mitigate the problems that have been identified.
- Fraser Health Authority parking lot – we have initiated discussions with FHA to ask two questions: 1. Would they consider making paid parking available to residents of Victoria Hill during their off-peak hours (i.e. overnight and on weekends) for residents to park their surplus vehicles, and; 2. Would they consider having 4 or 5 reserved spaces for EVO within their parking lot.
- Parking Services have been in the neighbourhood patrolling for violation of the parking restrictions. They will continue to enforce periodically.
- Electric vehicle charging – I have initiated discussion with our energy manager and electrical operations to determine if a suitable location could be found for a Level 2 EV charging station on-street; we are working with BCIT on a pilot project for on-street charging, so the charger would be installed as part of that pilot.
- Discussion and prompting from the City of New Westminster to the developer, Onni, to encourage either selling or leasing their additional car parking spots to residents of their OWN buildings at reasonable competitive rates. Holding these additional vacant parking spots and not renting them out to the building residents & owners adds to the problem of not enough street parking. Additionally, the City allowing the various Strata Councils who no longer have any parking spots available in their underground parking, to lease their building’s Visitor’s Spots to their OWN residents, if they have an ample Visitor’s spots available.
- The idea to convert parking on McBride to angle parking is an interesting one, but unfortunately it’s a tough one to prioritize, given that the Pattullo Replacement project will be starting within the next year or so, and that street will be affected. I’m reluctant to put time into studying and implementing a change like that when it’s possible it would have to be altered for construction within a year or two in any case. That said, I am going to ask our co-op student to do a desk top study to see if it’s even possible with the existing traffic operations and road width available.
Actions Being Recommended to the City by the VHGDRA
- Reduce the speed limit in Victoria Hill to 30 kmh.
Rationale: It is actually quite unsafe to try to drive at the posted speed on these narrow streets! This change gives the police authority to enforce a slower speed limit
- Install speed bumps on all roads to reduce speeding.
Rationale: Hopefully placement of the speed bumps would be judicious and involve some community consultation.
- Increase Police enforcement of speed limits and stop signs.
Rationale: This is the only realistic way to change driver behaviour.
- Designate both sides of East Royal from Ross Drive to McBride Boulevard as “No Parking and No Stopping”.
Rationale: The current parking by-law permits drivers to stop (i.e. “double park”) for up to five minutes in a “No Parking” zone. By adding “No Stopping”, police/by-law enforcement could ticket cars stopped on this busy stretch of road (Sushi, convenience store).
- Paint centre line through the curve at East Royal and Francis Way.
Rationale: This would help alert drivers to the narrow turn, encourage them to slow down, and define the lane to occupy when turning this corner.
- Provide a safe crosswalk at the corner of Francis Way and East Royal.
Rationale: Currently there is no signage or direction for pedestrians coming from the walkway along The Grand Lawn park area and up the private driveway about how to to cross safely at this intersection.
- Remove the No Left Turn 3:30-6:00 pm from the light at Memorial Drive and McBride Boulevard.
Rationale: With the line-ups on McBride greatly reduced (tolls removed from Port Mann), there is no longer an incentive for drivers to cheat (“rat-run”) through Vic Hill to use this left turn light to cut into the line-up to the Pattullo Bridge. The no-left turn from 3:30-6:00 pm is a major inconvenience for Vic Hill residents wishing to access the bridge during these times.
- Designate the centre lane westbound on East Royal crossing McBride Blvd. as LEFT TURN ONLY and designate the right (curb) lane as RIGHT TURN OR STRAIGHT.
Rationale: There is much confusion and ambiguity in this intersection for drivers going both directions on East Royal as they cross McBride! Eastbound drivers don’t know whether all or just some of the cars coming at them will turn left to go down McBride or barrel straight ahead on Royal. Drivers leaving Vic Hill in the centre lane who intend to travel west but are behind a car waiting to turn left often swerve over into the right lane to move around the car ahead, just as a car eastbound turns left to go up McBride. This change would make clear that ALL cars in the centre lane intend to turn left and ALL cars in the curb (right) lane proceeding into the intersection intend to drive straight ahead. Finally, there are fewer cars turning right out of Vic Hill than there are cars going straight through on Royal.
Issues for Further Study and Action by the City
- Providing direction to drivers (signage) or controlling the intersection to deal with southbound cars on Francis Way who are approaching the corner with East Royal. Currently a driver waiting to exit from the private driveway (Lookout, Royal, Whittaker) has no idea whether the oncoming car coming downhill on Francis Way intends to drive straight through into the private driveway or make the turn onto East Royal.
- Temporary flashing stop light at Ross Drive and East Royal.
- Discuss with Fraser Health Authority how to improve safety at the intersection between their entrance driveway and Francis Way. Tree foliage makes sight lines difficult and many vehicles, including buses, speed around that corner.
- Consider removing the yellow picket pylons in the intersection at Memorial Drive and McBride Boulevard and making that centre lane a dedicated left turn lane. There is significant congestion during peak hours at this intersection with drivers waiting through 2-3 cycles before reaching the intersection. This results in drivers making u-turns to go back to Ross Drive or drivers are going further north through the Fraser Health property and entering McBride via Blackberry Drive.