January 23, 2008 Minutes

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City of Richmond Meeting Minutes

Public Works & Transportation Committee





Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008


Anderson Room
Richmond City Hall


Councillor Bill McNulty, Acting Chair
Councillor Linda Barnes
Councillor Evelina Halsey-Brandt
Councillor Harold Steves


Councillor Derek Dang

Call to Order:

The Chair called the meeting to order at 4:00 p.m.









It was moved and seconded



That the minutes of the meeting of the Public Works & Transportation Committee held on Wednesday, December 19th, 2007, be adopted as circulated.












The next meeting of the Committee is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, February 20th, 2008 (tentative date) at 4:00 p.m. in the Anderson Room.

















(Report:  Dec. 14/07, File No.:  0100-20-TSAD1-01) (REDMS No. 2305518)



Discussion took place among Committee members and staff on a number of the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee’s (TSAC) proposed initiatives.



Questions were raised about the status of the proposal to implement the installation of accessible pedestrian signals at signalized intersections, as well as the development of a new audible tone specific to special crosswalks.  In response, information was provided that the goal was to have the first phase of the project in place by the end of 2008 and the Spring of 2009.  Advice was given that staff were meeting with the Richmond Committee on Disability to determine the features and equipment which would be installed.  Further information was provided that test sites had not yet been determined as decisions were still needed on the proposed locations and the type of equipment to be tested.  During the discussion on this matter, Cllr. Evelina Halsey-Brandt requested that she be kept apprised so that she could pass the information onto the Richmond Committee on Disability.



Reference was made to the upcoming installation of “V-Calm” devices on Woodwards Road, between Railway Avenue and No. 2 Road, and a suggestion was made that consideration should be given to installing these devices along major arterial roads.  The comment was made that this equipment would make motorists aware of just how fast they were driving, and would send the message to ‘slow down’.



Reference was made to the proposal to install permanent speed humps on No. 3 Road, between Steveston Highway and Dyke Road.  Information was provided that residents would soon be advised that there had been a reduction in speeding along this portion of No. 3 Road by more than 10%, and that with resident approval, permanent speed humps would be installed.  With respect to environmental impacts caused by the installation of speed humps, it had been determined that there would be no impact as long as the speed humps were designed to allow the motorist to maintain the posted speed limit. 



Information was then provided on traffic calming devices used in Mexico which were used in place of stop signs which slowed vehicles almost to a stop, and staff were requested to research these particular devices.



Reference was made to the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, and advice was given that Richmond was one of the few municipalities which had such a committee.  In response, staff were asked to pass on the congratulations and thanks of the Public Works & Transportation Committee to the TSAC for their time and effort in providing valuable input to the City.



Reference was made to the proposal to install speed humps in the Hamilton area, subject to the approval of local residents.  The Chair commented that the 30 families in the area were in support of this installation, and a brief discussion ensued on the process initiated by staff to determine resident support for the installation of this traffic calming measure. 



It was moved and seconded




That the proposed 2008 initiatives for the Traffic Safety Advisory Committee, (as outlined in the report dated December 14th, 2007, from the Director, Transportation), be endorsed.




That a copy of the above report be forwarded to the Council-School Board Liaison Committee for information.








(Report:  Dec. 14/07, File No.:  01-0100-20-RCYC1/2007-Vol 01) (REDMS No. 2304655)



Mr. Wei, accompanied by Transportation Planner Joan Caravan, introduced Mark Heath, a member of the Community Cycling Committee.  Mr. Wei then referred to a statement in the staff report relating to the Richmond Bike Map that ‘the City is seeking a 100% funding grant from UBCM to support its contribution to this project’.  He advised that notification had just been received that the City would receive 100% funding, with $8,000 from the UBCM fund, and an additional $25,000 from TransLink to help the City to produce and distribute a Richmond-based cycling map.



With reference to the Richmond Bike Map, information was provided that the maps would fold down to 4 inches by 6 inches; would be available at community centres throughout the City, and could be made available to Tourism Richmond.



Discussion then ensued among Committee members and staff on the hazards, if any, of cycling in Richmond.  Comments were made during the discussion that the Bike Map would encourage residents and visitors to cycle only on roads which had bicycle lanes.  Further information was provided that the work was currently being completed on the installation of a designated bicycle lane on Westminster Highway in the area of No. 8 Road and Graybar Road.  As well, staff were hoping that as part of the Official Community Plan review process, that bicycle lane routes could be expanded throughout the City. 



Discussion continued, with concern being expressed about the lack of direct bicycle routes to Steveston and to the City Centre.  Information was provided that staff would soon be determining key destinations in the City to ensure that all areas had adequate bicycle routes.  Reference was made to the proposed installation of ‘bike stencil pavement markings’ and staff explained how these markings and the accompanying loop detectors would operate.



Reference was made to the new Bike Map, and the request was made that all types of bicycle routes, i.e. recreational, commuter, etc., be identified with colour coding so that cyclists were aware of those routes which were ‘family friendly’.  Advice was given in reply that the map would distinguish the different types of cycling routes which were available throughout the City.  Further information was provided that the map would also show the location of bike stores and rental facilities, washrooms and facilities where air pumps were available to pump up deflated tires.  A suggestion was made during the discussion that hand pumps could be made available at local community centres.



A question was raised about bicycle clinics being held for cyclists, and information was provided on clinics sponsored by the Vancouver Area Cycling Coalition, as well as events sponsored by the City twice a year during “Bike to Work Day” and “Bike Month”.



Discussion continued, with advice being given that Parks staff would be working with the Cycling Committee to integrate the information contained in the City’s trail brochure into the Bike Map, as well as a code of conduct for recreational and commuter cycling.  A suggestion was also made that perhaps a cycling program could be integrated into those programs offered at local community centres.



Reference was made to the ugly appearance of the bike racks located throughout the commercial areas of the City, and comments were made about the need to provide locations for cyclists to safely lock up their bicycles.  A suggestion was made that consideration should be given to designing bike racks as a public art project.  A further suggestion was made that a vehicle parking stall in a public parking lot could be converted into a bike rack area, and that the same could be done with an on-street parking stall.  In response, information was provided on an upcoming report to Committee dealing with street furniture, and the comment was made that bike racks could form part of that report. 



Reference was made to a memorandum written by the Manager, Community Bylaws and the Director of Transportation relating to newspaper boxes, and advice was given that newspaper boxes would also be addressed in the street furniture report.  Staff were also requested to examine the feasibility of including covered bicycle racks.  In answer to a question regarding the status of the report, advice was given that the street furniture report should be presented to the Committee in February.



It was moved and seconded



That the proposed 2008 initiatives of the Richmond Community Cycling Committee regarding cycling-related engineering and education initiatives (as described in the report dated December 14th, 2007, from the Director, Transportation), be endorsed.












(Report:  Jan. 10/08, File No.:  03-1000-21-005) (REDMS No. 2326558)



It was moved and seconded



That the General Manager, Engineering & Public Works be authorized to enter into and execute a Supplementary Access Agreement with Bell Canada.



















The Manager, Engineering Planning, Siu Tse, reported that a watermain closure would soon be put into effect under the North Arm of the Fraser River for approximately three to six weeks duration.  He advised that a memorandum would be forwarded to all members of Council once the details had been finalized with Metro Vancouver and the Vancouver Coast Health Authority.




A brief discussion ensued regarding the upcoming closure, during which Committee members were warned about possible complaints being received from Richmond residents about turbidity in the water.  Further advice was given that City staff and the local Health Department would be monitoring the situation.




The Manager, Engineering Design & Construction, Jim Young, reported on the following matters:




- City staff had been requested by BC Waterways Association to complete two technical presentations at their annual conference on the (i) emergency dyke work undertaken by the City in 2007, and (ii) on the directional drilling project undertaken in the Shellmont area in 2006.




- at the recent Flood Control Forum held in Vancouver last week, the announcement was made that the Provincial Government had reiterated a $100 Million funding program spread over the next ten years; the eligible list of projects had been expanded to include emergency programs, emergency planning, purchases and studies




- regarding the status of the Mid-Island Dyke, an expression of interest was issued on Tuesday for consultants to assist staff with pre-selection and once a short list had been prepared, a request for proposals would be sent out.




- the City was actively involved with the North American Society for Trenchless Technology, and two staff members were currently on the Board of Directors




- the City had received a petition from residents in the Aintree Crescent area of Shellmont, requesting that restoration of the road and boulevard be completed to its ‘original state’.  Mr. Young advised that staff had met with the originator of the petition, had undertaken a detailed review of the area and advised the gentleman of the work that the City would be undertaking in that area.  He added that a response had not been received from the gentleman in question about the proposed work.



Discussion then ensued among Committee members and staff regarding some of the topics addressed by Mr. Young. 



In response to questions about the status of the road restoration in the Shellmont area, advice was given that since the completion of the project, the condition of the road cuts had been monitored and because of deterioration in the area of these road cuts, paving had been scheduled for 2008.



With reference to the Mid-Island Dyke system, information was provided in answer to questions, that the deadline for expressions of interest was February 12th, 2008, and that following completion of the preparatory work, staff were hopeful that a report could be submitted by the summer of this year.




Other topics were then addressed by Committee with staff members, the first being the removal of gravel from the upper Fraser River.  Information was provided that the matter had been the subject of discussion at the Flood Control Forum, and that the consensus was that a way should be found to remove the gravel in an environmentally friendly manner.  Further advice was given that a small amount of funding had been granted to start the process.



The second topic addressed was the issue of garbage disposal, zero waste management and changes in the recycling of materials.  Concern was expressed about the inert materials which remained at the end of the incineration process, and questions were raised about the feasibility of incorporating this material into asphalt or dyke materials so that it was not disposed of in landfills.



Discussion ensued on this suggestion, with it being noted that the biggest issue with the inert material was the contaminants which formed this substance as any area on which this material was spread would become contaminated.  The comment was made that cleanup at the source should be dealt with first and that was the message being sent to Metro Vancouver staff.



Reference was made to a recent newspaper article which indicated that Delta had been successful in having NAV Canada review flight paths over that municipality, and a question was raised as to whether these changes would have any impact on Richmond.  Information was provided that Delta, because that municipality was located further away from the Vancouver International Airport than Richmond, had more room to adjust flight paths.  Richmond, however, did not have that flexibility.









It was moved and seconded



That the meeting adjourn (4:45 p.m.).








Certified a true and correct copy of the Minutes of the meeting of the Public Works & Transportation Committee of the Council of the City of Richmond held on Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008.



Councillor Bill McNulty
Acting Chair

Fran J. Ashton
Executive Assistant, City Clerk’s Office