Photo courtesy City of Richmond
Traffic safety on our streets
Published 2:15 PDT, Fri May 27, 2022
Road safety is a significant part of our overall community safety plan and a priority for Richmond. Improving safety is accomplished by focusing on three areas: engineering (the focus of this column), education and enforcement.
Partnerships with the Province, RCMP, ICBC, School District 38, cycling groups, seniors, and other local groups and residents are important in keeping our friends, families and neighbours safe in our community. The Richmond Active Transportation Committee, cycling community (HUB) and other stakeholders contribute to road safety improvements such as multi use pathways. This is important as more modes of active transportation such as e- scooters are introduced.
The number of injuries or fatalities from traffic related collisions are far greater than those caused by criminal activity such as homicides, robbery or assault. The most collision prone and dangerous locations are intersections. In a recent Richmond study, 82 per cent of collisions occurred at intersections resulting in approximately 6,946 injuries and 14 fatalities. The rate of increase for collisions was four times the population growth and our top 20 collision intersections accounted for 23 per cent of the total.
To make our roads safer, Richmond is actively pursuing increased enforcement, engineering improvements and education. The City, in partnership with ICBC and the RCMP, analyzed our 20 most collision prone intersections, resulting in plans to implement short and long-term improvements. For example, Shell Road and Alderbridge Way will see pedestrian crosswalk signage, line marking/adjustments, speed-reader signs, foliage trimming, large yield signs and several other short-term improvements. Long-term changes include left turn signals, increased property setbacks, and longer left turn lane lanes.
The safety of families and children is paramount, and school zones are another area of safety focus. The School Safety Zone Inventory is a City-wide plan to improve safety by assessing the specific needs of each school. The plan will address the immediate needs of 31 of 38 elementary schools and nine of 10 high schools with improvements like safer drop off/pick up areas, speed humps, speed-readers, inset road signs, curb/sidewalk extensions, and ramps. Of course, enforcement and education are major pieces of keeping our school zones safe.
The City has installed video cameras at 121 intersections as an important road safety and traffic management tool. The public and businesses may apply to purchase video footage from the cameras to assist in legal or other matters such as evidence of collisions. Eight intersections have ICBC red light cameras that will capture images sufficient for court and one camera that registers red light and speed, with ticket issuing capabilities.
Traffic safety is a priority for all of us and remains a priority for the City of Richmond.