As a resident of Beach Grove, with a young family, it was pleasing to see the November 12th article “Residents put foot down on speeding” attracting the front page of The Optimist.
It is encouraging that the “Always 30 in Beach Grove” campaign led by residents has gained traction, as the issue of dangerous driving in Beach Grove has become progressively worse over recent years. I noted with interest that the campaign has the support from the City of Delta and the Delta Police, but I wonder what action the city and the police will now take to assist the campaign and make our streets safer.
In 2019, I contacted the city to inquire about traffic calming measures for Enderby Avenue, having noted that other streets in Tsawwassen had benefited from the introduction of speed bumps. I was informed that traffic counts had been conducted for seven days in September 2017 on Enderby Avenue and I was provided with the data, with the comment “The results of the data collection indicated an average 85th percentile speed (speed at which 85% of motorists are traveling at or below) of 35.8 km/h. As the results of the data collection do not indicate excessive speeds or volumes, further traffic calming measures are not recommended at this time.”
As the speed limit is 30 km/h, it appeared that the city was content for the vast majority of cars to speed and for no further action to be taken. Of more concern was further examination of the data showed that on each day of the seven days days, a significant number of cars travelled at more that 50 km/h and on one day six cars travelled at more than 60 km/h.
As a former Scotland Yard Detective Inspector, I have sadly seen the results of some of the most horrendous acts of terrorism committed against the innocent. However, the memory of road traffic accidents I witnessed early in my policing career still haunt me and I recall heartbreaking conversations with parents of children killed by dangerous driving in residential roads. The braking distance of a car travelling at 60 km/h is 45 metres (25m reaction time and 20m braking distance). In narrow and bending roads, with no sidewalk, and where line of sight is obfuscated by a large number of vehicles parked on the road, I fear a fatal accident is waiting to happen.
This brings me to the involvement of the police. I have frequently reported incidents of speeding to the Tsawwassen Community Police with no noticeable benefit. I am unable to recall the last time I saw a police car in Beach Grove. Where Delta residents do see the police addressing speeding vehicles, on a daily basis, is Highway 17 at the overpass of 36 Ave. This is possibly the least populous location in Delta, there are no schools, no pedestrians, no obstructed views, no nearby junctions and therefore no justification, perhaps other than financial, to conduct speeding checks.
The residents have made their voices heard, we now wait to hear what the city and thepPolice intend to do, given that the safety of Delta residents is clearly within their mandate.