Next Step in Rebuilding Inglewood
by Daryle Niedermayer, Communications Director, Inglewood Community League
On August 16, the City held another session with Inglewood residents to discuss the Rebuilding Inglewood project. This session was focused on three topics:
- “Bike Facilitation”—Should the project implement an East-West bike pathway through the neighbourhood? If so, what should these pathways look like?
- “Traffic Shortcutting”—Should physical barriers be put in place to obstruct people from driving across the neighbourhood?
- “Traffic Calming”—Should physical barriers be put in place to slow down traffic within the neighbourhood?
About 200 people came out on a warm but smoky evening to discuss and vote on these options. The city had also set up temporary types of traffic calming ideas in the area just North and East of the Inglewood Community Hall.
At present, city residents can use the 127 St. and 121 St. bike routes but these run North and South. There is a shortage of safe East-West routes in our part of the city. Survey questions asked whether people were in favour of turning the road into a one-way street for vehicles to support a bike lane (as is the case for 127 St.), removal of parking on one-side of the street, road narrowing, tree removal, and using other traffic calming measures. Another question asked whether this bike lane should:
- Use a separated median to protect bikes from vehicles (like 127 St. in Westmount between 111 Ave. and 107 Ave.)
- A raised bike lane (bike lane would be flush with the sidewalk) which is like the approach used on 127 St. south of 107 Ave., or
- No physical separation at all (which is what 127 St. through Inglewood is currently like).
In discussions around the boards, people seemed to favour the first option as it continued the style and approach used in Westmount just south of us.
The city presented several options to prevent “shortcutting” by people trying to avoid arterial roadways and speed their way to their destination. These options include:
- Fully closing a road so that it would lead to a dead end.
- Using more one-way roads.
- Using a raised median or boulevard down the center of a road to prevent people from cutting across it.
- “Diagonal diverters” which would put a diagonal barrier across a four-corner intersection so that drivers could only turn either left or right and not go across the intersection.
- Introduce islands in intersections to force people to only turn right.
In listening to residents during the discussion there was concern that Inglewood already is a difficult neighbourhood to navigate for visitors and guests as well as residents. During recent Epcor work, some residents had to drive 5 blocks out of their normal route just to avoid one-way streets, restricted transit corridors, and no-left-turn intersections. Further restricting shortcutting would also make it difficult for residents to get across the neighbourhood.
People seemed generally more interested in traffic calming as a way of slowing traffic through the neighbourhood than in preventing it all together. If traffic calming can increase the time for a driver to go through the neighbourhood, then drivers will be much more likely to use the arterial roadways. It seemed that people were much more in favour of traffic calming over shortcutting measures as a way of solving both problems.
Proposed traffic calming measures proposed by the city included:
- Mini roundabouts in intersections so cars would have to slow down to navigate the intersection.
- “Chicanes” which are sections of raised curb extending into the roadway from both sides of the roadway so that drivers need to slow down and weave left and right in a “S” shaped pattern to avoid running over the chicanes.
- Extending curbs at intersections into the roadway so that pedestrians have a shorter distance to walk to cross the roadway and drivers will naturally slow down to navigate the narrower section of road.
- Raised medians in the roadway which slow down traffic by making the road feel narrower to drivers.
- Raised crosswalks to make the crosswalk and pedestrians more visible and to slow down traffic by having them go over a bump.
- Raised intersections which would raise the entire area within the intersection, not just the crosswalks.
- “Speed humps” or speed bumps to cause drivers to slow down so that they don’t go airborne or damage their vehicles.
In looking at interim survey results during the session, people were generally in favour of a number of these measures including: roundabouts, extending curbs, raised crosswalks and speed humps.
Next steps in the Rebuilding Inglewood planning process include further sessions to refine the concept plans this fall.
Also, this September, Inglewood property owners will be receiving a form from the city asking if they want decorative street lights as part of this rebuilding program. Your Inglewood Community League supports the plan for decorative streetlights and is urging residents and property owners to vote “Yes” to this option. For more information, visit: https://inglewoodcl.com/making-great-neighbourhoods/