School Zone Traffic Calming Temporary Initiatives

Background

Creating safe routes to school is an important factor in reducing GHG emissions and achieving the City’s goal of towards a zero carbon future by 2050. The new traffic calming initiatives being implemented at 14 school zones across the City this fall are also in support of the City’s 7 Bold Steps, specifically Step 2 creating a Car Light Community and Step 7 creating Quality People-Centred Public Realm.

The measures are meant to be low-cost and temporary and will help create safer roads in the school zones. Later this fall, there will be an opportunity to provide feedback on the initiatives before permanent measures are put in place.

To complete the interim traffic calming measures, existing traffic control and calming measures and curbside regulations at each school location were reviewed. In addition, we reviewed prior planning efforts to improve traffic safety around schools, including:

  • School Travel Plans developed by Hub for Active School Travel (HASTe) and HUB: Your Cycling Connection
  • Toolkit of school traffic safety measures developed by the former NTAC (now STTF)
  • Conceptual designs for the five elementary schools and one middle school previously completed by City staff

The interim traffic calming measures will also be informed by best practices to improve school safety and facilitate active transportation from regional, national and international examples.

Some of the initiatives include:

  • New speed humps
  • Adding reflective strips on school zone and stop signs to improve awareness
  • Replacing the large outdated custom school zone signs with new signage that is consistent across the city
  • Updating signage in pick up/drop off zones

Please see below for the specific initiatives that will be occurring at the individual schools. 

School Improvements

Connaught Heights

  • Three new speed humps
    • Two on London St.
    • One on 9th St.
  • Curb extensions at London St. and 23rd Ave., and 9th St. and 23rd Ave.
  • Five large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Replace existing large school zone signs with new ones
  • Highlight existing stop signs and school zone signs with red or yellow reflective strips on the poles

Fraser River Middle

  • Two new speed humps on Queens Ave
  • Curb extensions at Queens Ave. and 10th  St.
  • Narrow the eastbound lane on Queens Ave.
  • Four large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Replace existing large school zone signs with new ones
  • Highlight existing stop signs and school zone signs with red or yellow reflective strips on the poles

Glenbrook Middle

  • Two new speed humps on Park Cresc.
  • Curb extensions with street art at Park Cresc. and 7th Ave.
  • Three large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Highlight existing stop signs and school zone signs with red or yellow reflective strips on the poles

Herbert Spencer

  • Two new speed humps on 1st St
  • Curb extensions at Princess and 2nd St., Princess and 1st St., 6th Ave and 2nd St. and 6th Ave and 1st St.
  • Eight large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Replace existing large school zone signs with new ones
  • Highlight existing stop signs and school zone signs with red or yellow reflective strips on the poles

F.H. Howay

  • Two new speed humps on Courtney Crescent
  • Curb extensions at Cumberland and Rickman
  • Four large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Replace existing large school zone signs with new ones
  • Highlight some of the existing stop signs and school zone signs with red or yellow reflective strips on the poles

John Knox

  • Curb extensions at 12th St and 3rd Ave
  • Painted median on 12th St adjacent to the bus stop in front of the school
  • Three large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Highlight the existing school zone signs with yellow reflective strips on the poles

Lord Kelvin

  • Six new speed humps
    • Four on Hamilton
    • Two on 7th Ave
  • Curb extension at Hamilton & 10th St
  • Six large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Replace existing large school zone signs with new ones
  • Highlight existing stop signs and school zone signs with red or yellow reflective strips on the poles

NWSS

  • Two large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Highlight new school zone signs with yellow reflective strips on the poles
  • Improve the parking restrictions at the new signalized intersection on 6th St by increasing the restricted parking zone and adding flexible bollards (combination of signs and flexible bollards)

QayQayt

  • Four large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Install new large custom school zone signs
  • Highlight some of the existing stop signs and school zone signs with red or yellow reflective strips on the poles

Queen Elizabeth

  • Four large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Install new large custom school zone signs
  • Highlight some of the existing stop signs and school zone signs with red or yellow reflective strips on the poles

Queensborough Middle

  • New pedestrian path on the south side of Salter St
  • One large yellow school zone pavement marking
  • Replace existing school zone sign with new one
  • Highlight existing stop signs and school zone signs with red or yellow reflective strips on the poles

Skow:wech

  • Four new speed humps
    • Two on Richmond
    • Two on Shiles
  • Seven large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Replace existing large school zone signs with new ones
  • Highlight some of the existing stop signs and school zone signs with red or yellow reflective strips on the poles
  • Signage to discourage parents from using Archer St to pick-up and drop-off students

Lord Tweedsmuir

  • Five new speed humps
    • Three on Hamilton
    • Two on 18th St
  • Narrowing the eastbound lane on 8th Ave
  • Nine large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • Replace existing large school zone signs with new ones
  • Highlight existing stop signs and school zone signs with red or yellow reflective strips on the poles

Urban Academy

  • Two large yellow school zone pavement markings
  • New painted crosswalk along Rousseau
  • Highlight the existing school zone signs with yellow reflective strips on the poles

FAQs

Why is the City installing temporary measures?
The temporary measures are low-cost and provides the school community, neighbouring residents and businesses the opportunity to provide feedback prior to making permanent changes. Register at www.beheardnewwest.ca to get updates when the engagement will take place. 

Why are you installing speed humps at some schools and not others?
Each school is uniquely situated and faces distinct traffic concerns. Some schools may be on a street that naturally deters motorists from driving fast, and some schools are on roads that are not appropriate for speed humps. Generally, only local roads that aren’t too steep and don’t have transit routes are considered for speed hump installation.

Why are we only allowed 10 minutes in the school drop-off/pick-up zones?
The new signs allow drivers to stop for up to 10 minutes in school drop-off/pick-up zones, whereas previously drivers only had 5 minutes. The limited stopping is to ensure all drivers can have a chance to safely pick-up and drop-off their student.

Why not just increase enforcement to address speeders?
Although enforcement could potentially improve compliance in the short term, the New Westminster Police have limited enforcement resources to deploy across the city. “Self-enforcing” measures, such as physical diverters and speed humps, are much more effective in the long term than limited enforcement. As we have in the past, Engineering staff will continue to work with NWPD to identify enforcement needs throughout the city, including school zones, particularly in areas that affect the safety of people walking and cycling.

School Specific FAQs

NWSS

Why did you increase the restricted parking zone at New Westminster High School?
Drivers have not been following the existing parking restrictions, using the no-stopping zones for pick-up and drop-off, creating unsafe interactions between pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. We installed physical barriers and increased the restricted parking zone to increase safety at the new signalized intersection on Sixth Street.  

Skow:wech

Why can’t we use Archer Street for drop off and pick up?
Archer Street does not have a proper place for drivers to turn their vehicles around, resulting in many drivers doing 3-point turns, creating unsafe conditions on the road and sidewalk.