Residents hoping for a degree of traffic calming at the intersection of Stayte Road (160 Street) and Pacific Avenue (10 Avenue) may be wise not to get their hopes up.
City officials in Surrey say it’s unlikely there will be changes in the area anytime soon, for two reasons: traffic volume, speed and collision statistics don’t warrant it; and, city policy prohibits any calming on the two roads.
Neighbours Dianne Dickinson and Julie Thorsen told Peace Arch News Monday that the corner has been the site of regular collisions and close calls – the most recent on Aug. 20 – for years.
After Saturday’s incident, in which police say a driver westbound on 10th failed to stop for a stop sign and collided with a SUV northbound on 160th, the pair decided to speak out.
But City of Surrey engineer Philip Bellefontaine said change is not currently in the cards for the intersection.
Stayte/160th – which divides Surrey and White Rock – is considered an arterial road, Bellefontaine explained, while Pacific/10th is a collector road. That means both are destined to carry higher volumes of traffic, and are main routes for emergency services. The city’s policy is to ensure those functions within the road network are protected into the future, he said.
“We’re not permitted to put traffic calming on an arterial road,” Bellefontaine said Tuesday. “We’re not in a position to put traffic calming on collector roads, either. It’s our policy.”
Bellefontaine noted exceptions may be made for collector roads that run by schools.
Regarding the possibility of installing a traffic signal at the site, Bellefontaine said a previous review determined it wasn’t warranted. According to ICBC data, only two collisions have been reported at the intersection in the past three years, he said, noting both the recent crash as well as one that occurred in May would not yet be in the system.
Officials would “absolutely” act if the data signalled change was needed, he said.
While a new look at the site is not planned, Bellefontaine said if the city receives complaints or a request, they will re-examine it “with a higher level of scrutiny.”
In the meantime, he suggested residents concerned about speed along the thoroughfares appeal to the RCMP to take steps. He added he will share their concerns with local police at an upcoming liaison meeting.
Regarding Saturday’s crash, police say occupants of both vehicles were taken to hospital, then released. The driver of the westbound vehicle, a 36-year-old South Surrey woman, was cited for failing to stop at the stop sign and fined $121.