Tuesday - May 14, 2024 - Chilliwack resurrects (some) traffic-calming plans

☀ High 20C

Good morning!

Today, we’re putting the call-out for our second FVC Perspectives edition. This month, we’re asking about political participation—outside of elections. In Canada, lots of people vote, but only a tiny number are active in political parties (and help select candidates for elections). We want to know why you do, or don’t, participate in that process—and what you think would make it more welcoming to the vast majority of people who sit on the sidelines as candidates and future politicians are selected.

This time, we’re collecting poll results and your comments in this simple, very-easy form. If you have a more general perspective to offer on another topic, you can submit it at the bottom of the form.

Thanks to Catherine, Troy, and Julie for becoming FVC members over the weekend. Catherine wrote: “I became a member because local journalism is important, I like reading the FV Current, and I think you need all the help you can get.” You can become a member, get our weekend Insider newsletter, and support our journalism here.

– Tyler

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Traffic & Weather

🌤 Local forecast: Langley | Chilliwack | Abbotsford | Hope

🚘 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google, and find DriveBC’s latest updates.

🛣 Click here for links to road cameras across the Fraser Valley, including those for the Coquihalla, Highway 7, Hope-Princeton, Fraser Canyon, and Highway 1 in Langley and Abbotsford.

NEWS

Abbotsford will get more buses, Chilliwack will not, and fare review could bring hikes

Expansions to transit in Chilliwack have been denied funding from the provincial government. 📷 Tyler Olsen

Abbotsford and Mission may finally get increased transit service in their communities. Chilliwack, on the other hand, may only get higher fares. At least in the short-term.

Need to Know

🚔 Two burned-out vehicles that were found north of Mission had been stolen; one came from Chilliwack [Fraser Valley Today]

🗳 The Green Party introduced a private members’ bill to remove the $10 application fee for FOI requests, but it’s not expected to go anywhere [Shannon Waters/X] / We wrote last week about how Chilliwack and a handful of other local municipalities and agencies had copied the fee [FVC]

☕ Two new Starbucks are opening in the Chilliwack area [Fraser Valley Today]

🩺 Doctors are delivering cancer diagnoses to patients in Canadian emergency rooms because of a lack of space elsewhere [Toronto Star]

🚧 A proposed six-storey apartment building in central Abbotsford got the OK from council [Abbotsford News]

🔎 Chilliwack Mounties are seeking help locating a missing 29-year-old man [RCMP]

🚗 There’s no money left in the province’s Cultus Lake budget for roadside devices that could prevent illegal parking [Chilliwack Progress]

👉 A former Chilliwack councillor will become executive director of Agassiz-Harrison Community Services Society [Fraser Valley Today]

🚗 No-fault insurance is keeping ICBC rates in check, but crash victims say it makes getting help harder after an injury [Vancouver Sun]

🌲 Six beds for homeless youth in Mission will be closed after the opening of a homeless shelter that can only take adults [Mission Record]

👉 Natural amenities can protect communities better than infrastructure, if they’re well-planned [Policy Options]

🌲 Abbotsford Tech District is working with stakeholders to preserve, maintain, and enhance trails on Sumas Mountain, so developing the Tech District will result in more trails, not less.*

*Sponsored Listing

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The Agenda

Chilliwack is bringing back some traffic-calming measures, but raised sidewalks and speed humps, like these in Abbotsford, won’t be coming anytime soon. 📷 City of Abbotsford

After two decades, Chilliwack lifts traffic-calming moratorium

After more than 20 years of declining to put in traffic calming measures, Chilliwack has decided to give traffic calming another chance.

In the mid-1990s, residents put pressure on the City of Chilliwack to slow down traffic and reduce the number of people using side-roads as short cuts. At the time, the city installed some speed bumps on McNaught Road, which prompted other neighbourhoods to want similar traffic calming measures. The cascade effect of requests, however, didn’t end well. Speed bumps pushed drivers onto other roads, which prompted more requests—and discontent when those requests were denied. In 2002, the city put a two-year moratorium on any new traffic calming projects. The moratorium was never lifted.

Despite the ban on traffic calming, the city didn’t abandon the roads to speedsters entirely. Although no new speed bumps or traffic buttons have been installed since 2002, the city has done some work in narrowing roads, adding parking pockets, and creating curb bulges.

Chilliwack residents kept asking for traffic calming help, however. In the first four months of 2024, the city received more than 50 speeding complaints and traffic calming requests.

On May 7, Chilliwack council decided to bring its traffic-calming policy back from the dead, albeit with some important updates.

The new policy is more detailed than its early 2000s predecessor, and doesn’t let people petition to get traffic calming measures in their neighbourhood. It also made more data-focused parameters for which kinds of roads should get measures, and put new options in place for arterial roads. The new policy still doesn’t allow for speed bumps and raised crosswalks—effectively continuing that portion of the 22-year-old moratorium.

“Driving through Garrison, you don’t speed. You don’t feel like speeding, because the environment doesn’t allow for it,” manager of transportation Dave Mossey said during council. “That’s what we have in mind.”

Last year, Abbotsford installed speed humps on seven different roads. Chilliwack’s new policy would prevent those “vertical deflection” traffic-calming devices and instead rely on “horizontal deflection” using things like curb extensions, on-street parking, and traffic circles.

Chilliwack hopes to avoid some of the issues from its past by being more transparent about which roads are getting new traffic calming measures—similar to what the city does when putting in new flashing crosswalks. Staff said they expect the list of projects to grow quickly, but hope that the new rules will prevent the same challenges that shut down traffic calming in the past.

Harrison mayor continues to allege ‘coup’

In a statement emailed to The Current, Harrison Hot Springs’ mayor sank any hope that he will go along with an attempt to formalize the relationship between himself and the village’s top bureaucrat. Ed Wood said the move by the majority of council to delegate duties to village Chief Administrative Officer Tyson Koch amounted to ‘a coup.’ The message, which was sent to The Current by Wood’s lone ally on council, Coun. John Allen, was also posted widely on Harrison Hot Springs’ Facebook groups. You can read the statement here. You can read our story from last week, as well as other coverage of the village’s dysfunction, here.

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🗓 Things to do

Black History: The Fort Langley National Historic Site is hosting an exhibition on the contributions of Black British Columbians through history until Dec. 12. The exhibit, presented by the BC Black History Awareness Society and the Royal BC Museum, will include audio recordings and artwork. Details online.

Brothers Osborne: Brothers Osborne play at the Abbotsford Centre May 22. Tickets are $25 at the moment.

Tip-off: The Vancouver Bandits basketball team will play its home opener game against the Montreal Alliance at Langley Events Centre on May 23. Tickets online.

Have an event to tell us about? Fill out this form to have it highlighted here.

Catch up

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