To the editor:
Two years ago I noticed that we here in Smith Creek were going to have three stop sign ‘speed cushions’ installed in the name of traffic calming. Which they are not.
What caught my eye was the cost for these stop sign ‘speed cushions’. Over $10,000 each for the asphalt alone. I wrote to the City of West Kelowna about this, since most municipalities are paying in the range of $3,000. No answer.
I then requested various pieces of public information. The city had no problem providing most of the reports and letters, until I started asking why engineering had violated their own traffic calming policy. The Traffic Calming Report, when sent to council stated that it followed this policy. It did not.
‘Speed cushions’ should not be placed on collector roads or bus routes. Both Smith Creek roads are collectors and have bus routes.
The stated purpose of these bumps was to discourage trucks from short cutting. Policy requires that short cutting vehicles be counted (they weren’t) and that their number be 25 per cent or greater of the total vehicle count.
Policy also states that ‘speed cushions’ have no effect on short cutting vehicles. In 2015 another count was taken to see if they were effective—they were found not effective. Even our community association told West Kelowna Mayor Findlater: “Currently placed cushion bumps are not effective.”
I have asked repeatedly questions why this was done and occasionally I would be fobbed off with an answer that leaves your head shaking. One senior employee answered that ‘speed cushions’ encouraged people to stop at stop signs, as was reported. The only reports of not stopping at stop signs was at a sign over 800 meters away from the nearest cushion.
Really I would like to know how this works.
The mayor has also refused to answer any questions regarding city employees not following our policy on traffic calming. Why pay consultants to assist in writing policy and then just ignore it?
My concern about this apparent misuse of tax dollars, for some as-yet unknown reason, is that: Some of the same people involved in this issue, will be looking after our interests in the multi-million dollar city hall building. Ignoring policy could be costly to the tax payer.
Sadly, we need a new city hall, but shouldn’t we wait until we have a team in place that will follow the policy of our elected representatives?
If you wish to contact the mayor about “Doug’s Donuts” or any other issue you want ignored, the mayor can be reached at 250-801-3814 or by email at doug.findlater@westkelowna .ca.
Jim Schisler, West Kelowna