A police officer aims a radar gun at oncoming traffic during a school-zone speed trap traffic blitz outside Peace Arch Elementary in 2017. (File photo)

A police officer aims a radar gun at oncoming traffic during a school-zone speed trap traffic blitz outside Peace Arch Elementary in 2017. (File photo)

White Rock council heeds residents’ plea for better speed signage

Roper Avenue concerns note proximity of two elementary schools

Neighbourhood concerns about the dangers of speeding vehicles on Roper Avenue has received prompt action from White Rock council, with the approval of a request for increased speed signage in the area of Alan Hogg Park.

“Safety in this area would be particularly important,” said Amy Da Costa, speaking on behalf of other residents at council’s April 12 virtual meeting, noting that Roper passes both White Rock Elementary and Peace Arch Elementary.

Da Costa, a registered nurse who has previusly worked in injury prevention, said commonly-known statistics show “survivability (from accidents) at vehicle speeds of 50 km per hour is really only roughly 20 per cent; survivability at 30 km per hour is much closer to 90 per cent.”

In a written request to council, Da Costa and neighbour Fred Kline were asking for improvements to signage, a slight extension of the existing 30 km per hour zone so that signs are more visible, and to have the asphalt painted with large 30 km warning signs for the stretch of Roper between Finlay Street and Best Street (at the entrance to Alan Hogg Park).

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A motion from Coun. Anthony Manning to grant all of the requests was approved unanimously by council.

Future steps that could be taken, Da Costa suggested, would be installing speed bumps on Roper Avenue, or making a 30 km per hour restriction, dawn to dusk, for all of Roper Avenue between Johnston Road and Stayte Road.

Engineering and municipal operations director Jim Gordon said staff would act immediately to review and improve visibility of existing signage, but noted that longer term improvements in signage, speed bumps and extended speed limits would be better to achieve as overall city policy rather than through a piecemeal neighborhood approach.

“This is an ongoing problem,” Da Costa told council, noting that she and Kline are part of an active neighbourhood group that monitors the situation and tries to deter speeders with its own signage.

She said it’s realized, however, that current signage doesn’t give drivers much warning of a speed change.

“What’s there really is difficult to see,” she said.

“Because, in part, it’s at the crest of the hill, we see that speeders come up quite quickly.”

She said current signage is “tucked in amongst trees” and, as soon as those trees get leaves, is “almost impossible to see.”

Da Costa said the two schools have specialty or choice programs (French Immersion at Peace Arch, Fine Arts at White Rock), which don’t require students to live by the schools to enrol in them — significantly increasing the amount of school traffic on Roper.

“Therefore this increases the possibility, for kids who are walking, pedestrians, to encounter vehicles on this road.”


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