• Saturday , 28 January 2023

Beach Ave hump de bump has council calling the cops

Why pay for a hump when you can get a Mountie for free?

This is near top-of-mind in Peachland as we enter the shoulder season and the rain sweeps in like a Google notification that the summer is doomed.

District councillors remain concerned about vehicles going too fast and being too loud on blissful Beach Avenue and at their meeting on the morning of Sept. 6 as they pored over a preliminary report on traffic calming measures like speed humps and speed bumps from CAO Elsie Lemke.

The raised crosswalk near Todd Road came up, too, as Lemke filled in the councillors on the elements, speed bumps, which are common in parking lots and require a near-stop, and speed humps, a couple of which already exist on Beach Avenue and encourage motorists to slow to about 30 km/h to avoid discomfort and damage.

Baseball cap fans may know this scenario as the dreaded “button.”

Lemke said generally local governments avoid placing speed humps on major roadways frequented by emergency vehicles and/or transit vehicles, or near intersections.

In terms of noise, they can exacerbate the problem as motorists brake before and accelerate after each hump.

She recalled that about a decade ago a neighbourhood group formed to lobby for speed humps in the north end. Rubber temporary humps were installed and actually damaged the pavement. They were removed after one season and the residents didn’t ask for them again, citing an increase in noise as described above.

At council, the discussion went back and forth, and there may have even been a full frontal flip-flop between the 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. meetings, but councillors eventually settled on skipping the humps and bumps in favour of a free door number three: requesting more RCMP patrols in Peachland.

Councillors noted the district pays the RCMP about $700,000 per year for service.

“It costs us no money to encourage the RCMP to give us a better presence,” Coun. Keith Thom said, “and if through that process we can solve speed and noise issues on Beach Avenue, [then] I say let due process take place and reevaluate at the end of a set period.”

Mayor Cindy Fortin was doubtful this approach would yield fruit. She said her takeaway from a number of conversations with the district’s commanding officer was that Peachland is fortunate to be a low-crime area next to a centre where police are kept busy dealing with serious offences.

“They are doing their best.”

Coun. Pam Cunningham proposed more elevated crosswalks be considered.

“They don’t have to be moguls at a ski hill,” she said. “We can choose how high they go.”

Council resolved to have the mayor sign a letter to the RCMP asking for an increased presence.

Craig Gilbert

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