Drinkwater Road will soon see a number of traffic-calming measures put in place to try to deal with some speed and volume issues on the route.
The Municipality of North Cowichan decided at the council meeting on Dec. 7 to place a raised crosswalk on Drinkwater Road at the crossing of the Trans-Canada Trail west of Somenos Road.
As well, seven speed bumps will be placed on Drinkwater Road at approximately 150 meters apart between North Road and the Trans-Canada Trail crossing and the intersection with Somenos Road.
Staff anticipates that these measures will see drivers drop their speeds to the 50-kilometre speed limit and that traffic volumes will be reduced on the road.
However, if these measures fail to adequately address the issues, the next step would be to close Drinkwater Road at two locations.
The first would be just west of North Road to create a 90-degree bend along the Drinkwater/North roads corridor alignment to slow traffic, and the second would be just east of the driveway to Duncan Paving Company.
If the road closures are required, North Cowichan would place signs on the roadway to advise of the changes to the traffic-network configuration, and liaise with Cowichan Valley Regional District’s transit service regarding the changes to bus routes and the possible implications to bus stops.
Funding for the project, with the amount to be determined, will come from the municipality’s road program for 2017.
“Current traffic-safety research supports the use of the proposed measures, speed bumps and rerouting as effective means to control traffic volumes and speed,” said Barbara Thomas, North Cowichan’s manager of engineering development.
“The proposed measures should address the public’s concerns about traffic operations on Drinkwater Road. However, the speed bumps and rerouting negatively impact ease of access for emergency vehicles, transit buses and municipal waste-management services.”
Coun. Joyce Behnsen said residents of the neighbourhood have been advocating for some traffic-calming measures on Drinkwater Road for more than 20 years.
“They finally feel heard,” she said.