Wacky speed bump designs mar City of Iqaluit’s traffic safety plan
“We’ll look at adjusting them in the spring”
Iqaluit’s new speed bumps, installed throughout the city in mid-September, are favoured by most residents, but the city’s rush to put them in overlooked the need for uniform standards, say some city councillors.
“The decision to put in speed bumps is not bad, I love it,” Coun. Kenny Bell said at a regular council meeting Oct. 22.
“But to do it with no standards is just not normal,” he added, “It’s insanity.”
Bell noted that speed bumps around the city are of variable height, and asked city administrators what standards were used.
John Mabberi-Mudonyi, the city’s senior director of corporate services, who is filling in as acting director of public works, said the city’s priority was to put speed bumps “around playgrounds, in high-traffic areas.”
The city has no standards on height for speed bumps, he said. These were left to Kudlik Construction, he said, “which is the only company in town that could do it.”
“The whole idea was to put (traffic) controls in place, to make sure kids are OK.”
On that note, mayor John Graham and city administration replied that the city decided to improve road safety after Coun. Joanasie Akumalik’s recommendation at the end of summer, when he urged the city to add signs and crosswalks to protect pedestrians from “fast-moving vehicles.”
The councillor recalled the tragic death of a four-year-old boy on July 29 when he called for action.
“After that horrible accident, I knew we had to do something to prevent that,” Graham said.
“I basically told administration that I want speed bumps in and I want crosswalks identified.”
The mayor and Mabberi-Mudonyi agreed that the work was a “rush job.”
“It was done pretty quickly,” Graham said. “The asphalt plant was only operating for a small window, and we were lucky it could be done right away.”
The mayor and administration agreed the city would have to clarify standards on height, adding this would be done after the winter.
“We’ll look at adjusting them in the spring,” said John Hussey, the city’s chief administrative officer. “But for now, there seems to be an increased element of safety.”
The city painted crosswalks and installed speed bumps throughout the city around Sept. 15.
The mayor reported to council that resident’s reaction to the speed bumps in email messages showed the great majority were in favour.
“I can probably print off 19 emails, 16 of which are in favour of what we did, and I think there were three contrary,” he said.
Coun. Terry Dobbin also said he is in favour, but noted that certain speed bumps in the Road to Nowhere subdivision are “too high,” to the point that the undercarriages of smaller vehicles might be affected.
“A lot of people have been complaining about them,” he said.
Dobbin said he had heard of a complaint from a homeowner in another part of the city where a speed bump had been placed in front of his driveway.
“The city had to come and put a boulder there to keep people from coming into his parking lot,” he said.