The intent of closing Glassford Road and forcing traffic to use Gower Point is proving problematic. It is erroneous for the Town of Gibsons to assume that people living along Gower Point Road are any less sensitive to traffic volume, speed and noise than those living along Glassford. Nor are their needs for safety are any different. While Glassford is technically a residential street, it is wider, straighter, has a better surface and it has much wider shoulders to accommodate pedestrians, compared to Gower Point. Glassford has now become an overly calmed street – literally a pedestrian mall – but at a significant cost to those living along Gower Point Road.
Perhaps a more equitable approach is needed to mitigate the traffic burden in Lower Gibsons. One possibility is to make the section of Gower Point between Dougal Park and Franklin a one-way. Glassford could be made into a one-way in the opposite direction. Optimal directions for each road would need to be determined. This approach to reducing traffic volume, by sharing it across two roads, has seen tremendous success in other municipalities.
However, sharing the volume of traffic between these two roads does not address what seems to be a more significant problem, namely speeding motorists. To reduce speed in this residential area, traffic cushions are needed. These could be supplemented by posted speed limit signs, and by reducing the speed limit so that it is consistent with streets neighbouring nearby Dougal Park.
It is commendable that the Town of Gibsons is experimenting with ways of controling traffic in the lower village. However, a more balanced solution is needed that better addresses the safety concerns of residents on both roads and that better utilizes existing road infrastructure.
Kevin Hamilton, Gibsons