Westbound morning traffic comes to a standstill on Nordel Way between 84th Avenue and Highway 91 on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2019. A recent City of Delta traffic study found the number of two-way trips on Nordel actually decreased between 2015 and 2018. (James Smith photo)

Traffic volume in North Delta down slightly

City data shows overall decrease of nearly 2 per cent, with almost 5,000 fewer vehicles on Nordel Way

It may not feel like it when you’re stuck in rush hour gridlock, but traffic in North Delta has actually gotten marginally better since 2015, according to a report by city staff.

Traffic data collected by the city at 130 count stations in 2015 and 2018 showed an overall decrease of 1.8 per cent, from 1.03 million to 1.0 1 million.

Total average daily two-way weekday volume counted in North Delta, according to a recently released Delta city staff report.

Nordel Way saw the biggest drop in volume, with 35,009 trips per day in 2018 compared to 39,854 in 2015.

Volume on 72nd Avenue, Lyon Road and 112th Street remained more or less the same, though Kittson Parkway and 116th Street both saw notable increases over 2015 — 17,077 trips per day on Kittson Parkway, up from 15,927, and 14,184 on 116th Street, up from 13,252.

Average daily two-way weekday volume on major North Delta roads, according to a recently released Delta city staff report.
Average peak hour two-way weekday volume on major North Delta roads, according to a recently released Delta city staff report.

[Editor’s note: The print version of this story incorrectly stated the traffic figures represented “two-way trips.” In actuality, the numbers denote “two-way volume,” meaning data collected from traffic traveling in both directions on a given road. We sincerely regret the error and will issue a correction in the Sept. 19 issue of the paper.]

According to the report, the lack of overall growth in vehicle trips observed may partially be attributed to regional traffic remaining on provincial highways and the increased usage of the Port Mann Bridge.

The report notes Highway 17 experienced an increase of approximately 3,000 average daily vehicles trips between 2016 and 2018, and the removal of tolls on the Port Mann Bridge in 2017 significantly increased traffic using the crossing as volumes increased by an average of 25,000 vehicle trips per day during the work week. Staff posited the overall decrease in traffic volume on Nordel Way may be a reflection of traffic diverting from the Alex Fraser Bridge to the Port Mann.

The report says recently released information from TransLink’s 2018 Transit Service Performance Review showed a significant increase in transit ridership — 15.6 per cent year-over-year — in the Southeast Area (North Delta, Surrey, Langley and White Rock), which may also have contributed to fewer vehicle trips through North Delta.

At council Monday night, Coun. Lois Jackson expressed some doubts about the traffic numbers in the report, citing conversations with North Delta residents and the “gridlock” she sees regularly in her neighbourhood.

“With all due respect to the engineering department and the report and whatever you’ve done here, I’ve talked to probably 100 different people on this issue and I’ve said, ‘Here is the report, what’s your feeling in your neighbourhood?’ Not one of them agreed with the report, from simply personal experience.”

Jackson worried that the traffic counts don’t look at smaller routes through the community —namely 96th, 90th, 88th and 84th avenues — and noted the report didn’t address the volume of traffic on Scott Road.

“The inner community traffic is really moving around and I’m concerned that we haven’t really [looked at that],” Jackson said, adding that the City of New Westminster has taken the step of closing off a number of its residential streets in order to “save them.”

“I wish we had the count for Scott Road, it is unbelievable, and I would hope that at the end of this year or next year we can continue monitoring that because in some cases we’re just gridlocked all around my neighbourhood and there’s just nowhere else to go.”

Director of engineering Steven Lan told council reducing traffic through North Delta comes down to the city, Metro Vancouver and the province improving infrastructure to keep traffic on arterial highway routes coupled with improving transit service.

“North Delta is certainly an area with a lot of traffic, and that doesn’t change with this report,” Lan told council. “We appreciate the amount of traffic that is going through North Delta, it is a main thoroughfare, there is a lot of congestion.

“What I wanted to note is that council has really recognized that, and from the standpoint of improving road safety and to improve accessibility for the public, council through the neighbourhood road improvement program has invested a significant amount of funds in North Delta — from 2014 to 2018 it was in excess of $15 million.”

Lan said in that time the city had installed 7.6 kilometres of sidewalk in North Delta, 1.7 kilometres of bike lanes, 154 LED streetlights, and seven illuminated crosswalks.

“I think that goes to show our appreciation for the amount of congestion and the need to improve overall road safety through the community.”

Lan also cited recent TransLink ridership figure along Scott Road, particularly on the 319 bus.

“Between 2017 and 2018, there was an increase of 24 per cent in terms of the number of riders or trips … it’s the largest single increase in the region, and that continues,” Lan said. “With every quarterly review of the bus schedules they are increasing the frequency, and again that section of the line is scheduled to be converted — upgraded — to a B-Line rapid bus.”

In regards to the amount of traffic along Scott Road, Lan said he would look at what figures the city currently has and consult with the City of Surrey and would report back to council at its next regular meeting.

SEE ALSO: Surrey Mounties, Delta Police targeting distracted drivers

SEE ALSO: Police release list of 10 worst crash locations in Delta



editor@northdeltareporter.com

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