On November 12th Vernon City Council voted 4 to 3 in favour of increasing the speed from 60 km/h to 70 km/h between the Regional Compost Facility to the cadet crosswalks; this section of road is along Commonage and Mission Roads between Predator Ridge and downtown Vernon.
However, a few of the residents living along Commonage Road have opposed the speed limit increase. Because of these few opposing residents, City Council has decided to review this issue again at this coming Monday's council meeting to consider revoking the approval.
Despite already having approximately 280 hard copy signatures on a petition in favour of the increase, I would like to have a current petition and hopefully many more than 280 digital signatures by this Monday morning. Assuming you are in favour of the increase to 70 km/h, I ask you to please sign this petition. If you're available Monday afternoon after 1:30, please attend the council meeting.
It was falsely stated at the November 12th Vernon Council meeting by Amanda Watson that the Ministry of Transportation (MOT) would not agree to increase the speed for their portion of the road. In fact MOT's position is that they will increase the speed to 70 km/h once the City of Vernon has agreed to increase it on the city's portion of the road. MOT acknowledges that MOT's portion of the road was originally designed for 70km/h when it was paved. So MOT has no problem posting 70 km/h! But they do want to be consistent with the city.
For those of you who would like more information, see Lorne Holowachuk's letter to council below.
Thank you in advance for your help and please forward this to others.
Mayor & Council Oct 16, 2019
Mayor & Council, in lieu of my availability for a presentation, I thank you for this opportunity to elaborate on this Citizen request to “Increase the Speed Limit to 70kmh on Commonage Road within the CoV & MoTI jurisdictions from the DND Lands southerly to 400 m South of the Compost Facility”.
For those who do not know me, my name is Lorne Holowachuk P. Eng. who was the Manager of Planning, Land Development & Engineering Services for 5 years (2004-2009) for the CoV and prior to that worked primarily for the Ministry of Transportation for 29 years particularly in Traffic Engineering, Highway Safety & Planning.
A. Background of Request
1. Initiated this request with City staff in Sept 2017
2. Deliberated with local & Kelowna MoTI staff
3. Initiated a Public Petition in June 2018 to increase the speed limit to 70 kmh in both jurisdictions
4. Supplied a 280 name Petition on Sept 21, 2018 to Kim Flick (CoV) & Steve Sirett (MoTI)
5. Petition results indicate Citizen support includes residents of the Greater Vernon Area, particularly the Landing Area & Predator Ridge and DND softball participants from Vernon & Kelowna
6. April 2019 again discussed request to increase the speed limit with Steve Sirett, District Highways Manager (MoTI) who is agreeable in his jurisdiction subject to CoV proceeding in their jurisdiction
7. Due to the slow staff response have requested Council consider this Citizen request directly (deliberated at the May 27/19 Council meeting)
B. Detailed Request
8. In the MoTI jurisdiction, a 70 kmh speed on Commonage Road has been requested from 400 m South of the Compost Facility to 700 m South of Bench Row Road which is approximately 3 km long. A majority of this section was rebuilt to a 70 kmh design standard about 15 years ago as part of a $4.2 M cost shared upgrade of Commonage Road with Predator Ridge, MoTI & CoV.
9. In the CoV, a 70 kmh speed limit from 700 m South of Bench Row Road to 250 m South of the 1st Pedestrian Crosswalk with a flashing beacon on adjacent DND Lands which is approximately 3 km long. The existing speed limit is 60 kmh from 700 m South of Bench Row Road to Allan Brooks Way and 50 kmh from Allan Brooks Way to this DND crosswalk.
10. The relevant Engineering details are satisfied and include roadway design, low access density, continuous 1 m paved shoulders and rural nature of the roadway. Of particular note, the vertical curve (hill) on Commonage Road approaching Bench Row Road from the North, where my observations indicate that the Stopping Sight Distance and Entering Sight Distance are satisfied. However an additional, “limited vision” sign could be considered for southbound traffic on Commonage Road (optional).
11. This request is similar to Old Kamloops road which is 70 kmh from North of 43 Ave to Highway 97, a joint jurisdiction roadway.
12(a) Request your approval of this Citizen request to increase the speed limit to 70 kmh on Commonage Road from 700m South of Bench Row Road to 250 m South of the 1st Pedestrian Crosswalk on DND Lands (approx. 3 km)
(b) Request coordination with MoTI who are agreeable and willing to work with the CoV to include their 3 km section from 400 m South of the Compost Facility to 700 m South of Bench Row Rd to create a continuous 6 km 70 kmh speed limit on Commonage Rd.
(c) Sign installation would include in the southbound direction, a new 70 kmh sign 250 m South of the pedestrian crosswalk, an optional “Limited Vision” sign approaching Bench Row Road & another 70 kmh sign a 100 m South of Bench Row Road. In the northbound direction, a new 70 kmh sign 700 m South of Bench Row Road, another 100 m North of Bench Row Road and relocate the existing 50 kmh Ahead sign (non-standard placement in the Allan Brooks intersection) to 250 m South of the 1st Pedestrian Crosswalk on DND Lands.
Also recommended, is the installation of cross road name signs (Bench Row Road) on both approaches to Bench Row Road.
Sign installation would cost about $1,050-1,200 which I presume the Operational Budget could absorb.
13.Lastly in my view, the current speed signing is not in keeping with driver expectations or visual cues, creates speed traps, and is an insult to the motoring public. I understand that staff are currently doing some further study but at this point it is long overdue and this revision should be implemented as soon as practical.