After data collection on Skyline Drive, one fact is abundantly clear — most drivers speed.
Starting last month, over a 10-day period the District of Squamish compiled information on the number of vehicle trips and speeds they travelled up and down the Garibaldi Highlands roadway. Two traffic counters were place on the drive; one at 40181 and the other at 40372 Skyline.
“It quickly illustrates that people are going more than the speed limit,” said Greig Garland, the municipality's capital works' engineer.
The study was spurred by the recent replacement of a water main, which led to the removal of two speed humps and the repaving of Skyline Drive. Now district staff are conferring with residents on whether they want the speed humps back and whether further safety measures should be considered.
“There are other options,” Garland said, noting district officials have tweaked sight lines and added stops at the Skyline and Braemar Drive intersection.
On average, vehicle speeds were clocked faster travelling up the drive, rather than down it, Garland noted. The majority of drivers heading up Skyline reached speeds of up to 50 kilometres after the first hairpin turn — 10 kilometres above the 40-kilometre-an-hour posted speed limit.
The figure jumped around the bend past Braemar, where most vehicle speeds increased a further 10 ticks to up to 60 km/h. The counters clocked some vehicles travelling up to 100 km/h on the drive, Garland added, which is simply unacceptable.
“Our desire is to send the message that people need to slow down,” he said.
Of drivers heading downhill, 84.7 per cent were travelling above the speed limit, said Matt Simmons, the district's capital project manager. Uphill, the percentage reached 93.8.
“At 93.8 per cent, it is pretty much everyone,” he noted.
On Wednesday (Nov. 7), municipal staff hosted a public consultation meeting to discuss calming measure. Residents' feedback will help determine what recommendations are put before council, Garland said.
Traffic calming solutions and Skyline Drive are an ongoing tango. In 2007, a group of concerned residents handed council a petition calling for safety measures. At the time, a number of accidents had occurred on that stretch of road, including one incident in which an alleged drunk driver hit a parked truck, driving it into a garage door.
In response, district officials lowered the speed limit and installed speed humps on the road.