Survey shows Prince Albert residents split on speed bumps in Barton Drive area

Prince Albert City Hall. – Herald file photo

A survey from the City of Prince Albert suggested that residents in the Barton Drive area are split on whether or not the street needs speed bumps.

Traffic and Transportation Manager Evan Hastings presented the report at the city’s executive committee meeting on Tuesday. The report showed results of a six-month trial of temporary speed bumps between May and October.

While the numbers showed little impact on speeding, Hastings said the survey was crucial.

“The most important part of this trial, though, was the community consultation, making sure everybody was heard in this area who was impacted by the speed cushion,” said Hastings.

The city received a 46 per cent response rate on the surveys.

Forty-seven responses said permanent speed bumps weren’t needed, while 42 felt they were necessary to slow people down.

“The speed cushion, it did have a good impact of where it was located, and then all the way east on Barton Drive, not so much of an impact to the west,” Hastings said about the results.

The city collected data at three locations before, during and after installation.

The Traffic Calming Policy requires an 85th percentile speed of at least 10 km/hr over the limit to warrant “traffic calming” measures, such as speed bumps, raised crosswalks and speed monitoring radar. The 85th percentile speed is the speed where 85 per cent of drivers travel below, and 15 per cent above.

The bump had no impact near Coombe Drive, with the 85th percentile speed at 44 km/hr.

At the mid-block location, Hastings said “traffic slowed substantially” while the speed bump was in place, at 30 km/hr for the 85th percentile speed. Once it was removed, that number increased to 43 km/hr.

Lastly, near Eagle Street, the speed bump showed an 85th percentile speed of 37 km/hr. After, the 85th percentile speed saw a minor increase to 39 km/hr.

“In total, during this one-week study, five vehicles exceeded 65 km/hr, all near Coombe Drive, and the maximum speed recorded was 77 to 80 km/hr,” Hastings explained.

Barton Drive is located in Ward 6, represented by Coun. Blake Edwards.

“There is a speeding problem on Barton. Not the average speed, but some of the speeds captured are near criminal,” he said.

“It’s a real shame that 118 km, I think, was the fasted captured on our speed sign. That’s crazy.”

Edwards said he’s seen videos of people driving on to the curb to avoid the speed bumps, “or sit in front of the speed hump and burn rubber just to harass the families that have tried to curb the speed.”

Hastings said the city began receiving complaints of speeding on Barton Drive in 2020.

Studies by police and public works showed an 85th percentile speed of 42 to 44 km/hr – meaning traffic calming measures were not warranted. Still, in 2022, city council decided to conduct a speed bump trial.