T & T COMMITTEE AGENDA
                                                                                  FEBRUARY 5, 1997

                                                  ADMINISTRATIVE REPORT

                                                                         Date: January 7, 1997
                                                                         Dept. File No. 4051
                                                                         CC File: 5757-1/8024

     TO:              Standing Committee on Transportation and Traffic

     FROM:            General Manager of Engineering Services

     SUBJECT:         Ontario Bikeway/Langara Area Traffic Calming


              A.      THAT  three traffic  circles, a series of  stop signs and  four corner bulges, as  detailed in
                      this  report, be installed  in the area  bounded by 49th  Avenue, 59th  Avenue, Ontario Street
                      and  Main Street,  at a  capital  cost of  $45,000 with  funding  available in  accounts
             14/02/5772/999, 14/02/5774/999, and 14/02/5777/999.

              B.      THAT  the  Streets  maintenance  budget  be  increased  by  $1500  without  offset,  for  the
                      maintenance of the three traffic circles proposed in this design, starting in 1997.

              C.      THAT the Traffic Operations maintenance budget  be increased by $300 without  offset, for the
                      maintenance of  the signs on the  three traffic circles proposed  in this design, starting  in


     The Vancouver Comprehensive Bicycle Plan (1988)  and the Clouds of Change  Report (1990) established the City's
     policy of promoting and encouraging cycling as a transportation alternative.

     On  May 14,  1992, Council  approved a  Citywide bicycle  route network  with priority  given to  local  street
     integration, and with the Ontario route identified as high priority.


     The purpose  of this report is to obtain approval  for traffic calming measures related to the Ontario Bikeway
     in the Langara College area.   These measures include traffic circles and corner bulges on  Ontario Street and
     stop signs on Quebec Street.


     After extensive  public  consultation  in  1991 regarding  bike  route  facilities,  the  option  of  enhanced
     integration on  local streets  was the  preferred option  for encouraging  more bicycling.   On  May 14,  1992,
     Council approved the following recommendation:

     "THAT  the  development of  the  first  trial bike  routes  along  local  streets be  based  on  the  following
                      -        Adanac/Union Corridor
                      -        Broadway Corridor
                      -        Ontario Corridor
                      -        Arbutus Corridor."

     In pursuit  of the  foregoing bike  routes, Engineering  staff has  worked closely with  the Bicycle  Advisory
     Committee  to Council and the Bicycle  Network Subcommittee.  Also, residents and cyclists have been encouraged
     to  participate through open houses and surveys.  The Adanac,  Off-Broadway, Ontario and Cypress Bikeways were
     opened in 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996 respectively.  

     In 1995 the Ontario Bikeway was approved and  built but a portion of the route,  between 49th and 59th avenues,
     was  deferred.   High traffic volumes  and proposed changes  to Langara College required  that a comprehensive
     neighbourhood traffic plan, including  considerable consultation with  Langara College and local residents,  be
     prepared.  This consultation has taken place and a traffic plan is now being recommended.


     Traffic  circles are recommended  on Ontario  Street at  52nd, 54th  and 56th avenues  to reduce the  speed and
     volume of traffic  using Ontario as  a shortcutting  route between  S.W. Marine, 59th,  57th and 49th  avenues.
     Alternating stop  signs on  Quebec between  49th and  57th are  recommended to discourage  traffic from  using
     Quebec as  an alternate  once Ontario  is calmed.  Four corner  bulges are  recommended to  assist students  of
     Sexsmith School  in  crossing the  Ontario and  59th intersection.    These bulges  will narrow  the  crossing
     distance and  choke  the intersection, reducing speeds (Figure 1).

     A traffic circle  at Quebec/57th was  included in the  original proposal but was deleted  because the loss  of
     parking was  unacceptable to adjacent residents.   Other measures  to reduce speeds on  this section of  street
     will be discussed with residents.

     It is  anticipated  that,  after  the  traffic calming  is  installed  and traffic  patterns  have  stabilized,
     neighbourhood traffic volumes  will drop.  Current traffic volumes on Quebec Street are  low due to the narrow
     street width, parking on both sides, and difficult  access to arterials.  The existing  conditions and proposed
     stop  signs will help ensure  that Quebec does not experience an  increase in traffic.   If traffic volumes do
     increase on Quebec, further measures could be implemented.

     (a)      Neighbourhood Compatibility

              When the Ontario Bikeway  was proposed in 1995 there  were numerous requests from residents  to reduce
              traffic volumes and  speeds on Ontario between 49th and 59th avenues.  This portion of the bikeway was
              deferred because changes were about to occur to the  traffic patterns generated by Langara College and
              the high volume of traffic required a more comprehensive traffic plan and  public process.  

              The short term changes  to the Langara College are complete, an open house for residents has been held
              and two resident surveys  have been done.  The open  house and first survey were used  to gather input
              from  residents about their concerns and to discuss preliminary traffic calming proposals.  The second
              survey contained three  options: Proposal A,   a series of circles and stops signs; Proposal B, a full
              closure and stop signs;  or,  Other                                                 , if residents did not endorse  A or B (see Appendix A  for a copy
              of the survey).   The circles and stop signs were favoured by the  majority, and  Other  made up 9% of
              the responses.

              Total number of survey sent out:                           500
              Total number of responses:                                 160 (32% response rate)
              In favour of Proposal A:                     100(63%)
              In favour of Proposal B:                     45 (28%)
               Other                                       15 (9%)   

              The comments included a few negative remarks regarding  the bike route and any traffic calming but the
              majority were in favour  of both.  Many of the comments recommended  changes at 59th/Ontario to assist
              students  crossing at Sexsmith School.   After reviewing  the issue with the  Police and School Safety
              Committee, corner bulges have  been added to the proposal.  A summary of  the comments can be found in
              Appendix A.

              A Langara  area parking plan is  being created to address  Langara College                                                                                        s request  for pay parking.
              The recommendations in  this report have  taken this into  account and are  compatible with the  plan.
              Langara College  and Sexsmith School were both consulted and both support the recommendations  in this

              A review  of the complete bikeway is anticipated in the summer  of 1997 and residents will be asked to
              make permanent the existing design or suggest modifications.  

     (b)      Implementation

              If approved,  installation of the circles,  bulges and stop signs  will begin as soon  as possible and
              completion  would  be  expected this  spring.    The circles  will  be  installed  in their  permanent
              configuration, including planting.  A review  of the whole bike route  is planned for this summer  and
              if changes are required modifications could be done then.

     (c)      Maintenance

              Elements  of the Ontario Bikeway  could be considered  for maintenance levels above  those of a normal
              street.  However, due to current budget constraints  it is recommended that the bicycle route  receive
              the same level of service as would a normal street, at no additional cost.   This may require refusing
              some public requests for extraordinary maintenance levels.

              The three proposed  traffic circles would be  landscaped to improve  their aesthetics and  visibility.
              There  will be an  annual maintenance cost for  repair, landscaping and  signage of approximately $500
              per traffic circle.   It  is not appropriate  to offset  these costs from  other maintenance  budgets;
              therefore, the overall maintenance budget should be  increased to accommodate the new traffic circles.
              As an alternative, if resident volunteers can be encouraged to adopt the traffic circles and agree  to
              maintain them  as per the  City                                             s traffic circle  adoption program, then the  costs may be  reduced to
              $100 per circle.


   The  cost to add traffic  calming to this  portion of the Ontario
   Bikeway is as follows:

     3 traffic circles                                     $ 30,000
     15 Stop signs                                        $   5,000
     corner bulges                                         $ 10,000
     Total                                                 $ 45,000

   In  1995  Council approved  $337,000  for  implementation of  the
   Ontario Bikeway.  The cost to improve street lighting and upgrade
   and  install  traffic signals  for  the  project  was  less  than
   anticipated and $45,000 is available in the following accounts to
   complete  this   portion  of  the  bike   route:  14/02/5772/999,
   14/02/5774/999, and 14/02/5777/999. 


   The  Network Subcommittee  of the  Bicycle Advisory  Committee to
   Council was involved in the design of this portion of the Ontario
   Bikeway and has reviewed  this report.  The Committee  would have
   preferred a full closure  (Proposal B) but feel the  circles will
   be a substantial improvement and supports this report.

   As part of  the review  of the Ontario  Bikeway, traffic  volumes
   will be  assessed using  the Local Integrated  Bikeway Standards.
   If  this  review  indicates  unacceptable  volumes  and/or  speed
   further changes may be proposed.

                               * * * * *

                               APPENDIX A

                          SURVEY AND COMMENTS                                                                            


     Summary of Survey Results up to October 31, 1996

     Total number of survey sent out:           500

     Total number of responses:                 160  (160/500 = 32% response rate)
     In favour of Proposal A:                   100  (100/160 = 63%)
     In favour of Proposal B:                     45  (  45/160 = 28%)
      Other                              15  ( 15/160 =    9%)   

     Responses within one block of proposed measure

     Traffic Circle at 52nd/Ontario
     Total number of responses:                 11
     In favour of Proposal A:                     9  (82%)
     In favour of Proposal B:                     2  (18%)
      Other                              0

     Traffic Circle at 54th/Ontario
     Total number of responses:                 14
     In favour of Proposal A:                     8  (57%)
     In favour of Proposal B:                     5  (36%)
      Other                              1  (  7%)

     Traffic Circle at 56th/Ontario
     Total number of responses:                 10
     In favour of Proposal A:                     5  (50%)
     In favour of Proposal B:                     2  (20%)
      Other                              3  (30%)

     Traffic Circle at 57th/Quebec
     Total number of responses:                 14
     In favour of Proposal A:                   12  (86%)
     In favour of Proposal B:                     2  (14%)
      Other                              0

     Summary of Survey Comments

        Calm traffic  at  59th/Ontario intersection  to make  the  school crossing  safer  (~30% of  all  comments
         included this request).
        Reduce  the amount  of Langara  students circulating  through the  neighbourhood and  parking in  front of
         residences (~15% of comments).
        Volumes may increase in lanes.
        Speeding cars on Ontario a concern and either proposal may not solve problems.
        Traffic avoiding Ontario may increase volumes through rest of neighbourhood.
        One traffic circle would not be enough, please ensure all circles are installed.
        Not enough cyclists to warrant changes.
        Buses diverted from Main Street parade may have difficulties with circles.
        Ease-west traffic on 57th should be restricted further, short cutters are a concern.
        Block all traffic between Marine and 49th on Ontario.
        Install traffic light at 59th/Main.
        Install left turn bay at 57th/Main, too many near misses.
        Reduce speed limits to 30 km in area.
        Install traffic circle at 58th/Ontario.
        Add illuminated warning signs near school.
        Leave as is, waste of money.
        Install pedestrian light at 51st/Main.
        Pave Ontario between 51st to 52nd.