North Cowichan is considering using speed tables to slow down vehicles in other parts of the municipality after a successful project on Drinkwater Road.
Four speed tables, which are mid-block traffic calming devices that raise the entire wheelbase of a vehicle to reduce its speed, were installed along Drinkwater Road, west of Somenos Road, in July and staff from North Cowichan has been studying their effectiveness since then.
A staff report, written by David Conway, the municipality’s director of engineering and operations, said the speed tables have reduced the average speed on the road by approximately 10 kilometres an hour.
“Based upon the information collected, the speed tables have shown to be an effective measure to reduce speeds when they can be installed at a spacing the discourages increasing speeds between the [speed tables],” Conway said.
“This is supported by the reaction of area residents who took the time to comment positively on the immediate impact of the speeding tables.”
Council decided in 2016 to place speed tables in a number of locations on Drinkwater Road to try to deal with some speed and volume issues on the route, which is a major artery feeding both the Trans Canada Highway and Cowichan Commons mall.
Conway recommended that, due to the success of the Drinkwater project, North Cowichan consider placing speed tables on a number of other local and collector roads, including the playground areas of Herd Road in Maple Bay and Queen Street in Crofton.
He said each speed table costs approximately $5,000 to install.
“Compared to other measures, staff think the cost is reasonable due to the effectiveness in speed reductions,” Conway said.
Council made a motion at its meeting on March 21 that will allow staff to consider installing tables where speed-calming measures are needed and speed tables are determined to be appropriate.
Coun. Joyce Behnsen said at the meeting that the speeding problem on Drinkwater Road has been ongoing for 25 years.
“We’re playing catch up,” she said.
“There are a number of dangerous areas where the speed problem is getting worse, not better.”