Residents of the Valley Vista development below Shoemaker Hill were shaken following an unwelcome visit from a vehicle last month.
City council received a letter from Laurence Roy, requesting that the city’s traffic safety committee construct or install concrete or steel safety barriers on the west side of the lower corner of the hill, just above 1070 First Ave. SE, prior to opening the road in the spring.
Roy outlines how, on Nov. 8, he arrived at the development where he has been constructing residential units, and found residents visibly shaken.
The night before, a vehicle had failed to negotiate the sharp corner, and continued down the embankment, “only stopping short of colliding with their residences due to a small concrete curb in front of the property.”
He stated one resident had just been walking in the spot where the vehicle ended up and, a few days prior, another vehicle lost a load of tires that struck her house.
Another resident, Roy wrote, reported seeing about six vehicles leave the road in the past four years, as well as bicycle-pedestrian incidents.
“The potential risk to individual lives and properties for the residents of Valley Vista is beyond considerable.”
He also asked the city to enforce the decision announced in November 2014 to prevent access of large commercial vehicles to the winding road.
Coun. Alan Harrison brought up Roy’s letter at council’s Nov. 28 meeting, agreeing the bank is a concern.
Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, said Shoemaker Hill has come up many times with the traffic safety committee. He said signs have been erected to prevent larger trucks from using it, and the edge of the bank has been reviewed as well as the speed limit.
“Driver error is causing most of the problems,” he said, adding there has been no discussion of installing additional barriers, and it’s a seasonal road.
Harrison wondered if there could be some kind of no-post curbing to serve as a barrier.
Niewenhuizen said staff could forward Roy’s letter to the committee, but he noted there is no budget for the barriers requested.
Harrison replied: “So it might come back to us. I’m willing to look into it further.”