*Noons Creek Drive has been misbehaving and will now be the subject of severe Psychoanalysis*

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Question:

I have a coupe of questions about the speed limit on Noons Creek Dr in Port Moody/Coquitlam between Maude Ct and Honeysuckle Ln, when school is not in session.

I’ve attached two pdf files here to help with my explanation. Northbound is heading uphill from Maude Ct, and Southbound is heading downhill from Honeysuckle Ln. In each pdf, the speed limit sign images are listed in order.

1. Heading northbound, the speed limit is initially 50 km/h. The first image shows a sign stating that the speed limit will be reduced to 30 km/h ahead. The second image shows a school zone sign with a 30 km/h speed limit sign below. The third image shows the back of a school zone sign on the other side of the road, indicating the end of the school zone. Finally, the fourth image shows a 30 km/h regulatory speed limit sign. I wonder, if school was not in session, would the maximum speed allowed be 50 km/h until the location of the fourth image?

 

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2. Heading southbound, the speed limit is, again, 50 km/h initially. The first image shows a 30 km/h regulatory speed limit sign. The second image also shows a 30 km/h regulatory sign. Then the third image shows a 30 km/h school zone sign. Finally, the fourth image shows the back of the school zone sign on the other side of the street. A few blocks ahead, there is a 50 km/h regulatory sign. (Not shown in the pdf)  If school was not in session, would the maximum speed allowed be 30 km/h from the location of the first image to the 50 km/h sign? Or would it be 30 km/h until the location of the third image and 50 km/h from that point onwards? (Related to the northbound question above)

 

I really hope you can help me with this question. Thank you in advance.
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Wow! (Translation = GOOD QUESTION!) Firstly let me start off by saying that I am confused by this as well, and I’m apparently a driving instructor. I am not 100% confident in my answer but I will take a stab at it and consult with ICBC and other figures of wisdom to hopefully get to the bottom of it. Until then, we can err on the side of caution, as usual.

Video

  • I took a drive and made a video which shows the Northbound situation only.
  • I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of road signs along this 2.5 km stretch of road, so I took the opportunity to create a road signs refresher video for anyone who feels they might be a bit rusty in that department while I was there.
  • If you have the time, the video is 7 minutes and shows the situation clearly.
  • If you don’t have 7 minutes keep reading for the Cole’s Notes.

 

This is very confusing for a number of reasons that I can brainstorm:

 

  • To being with, the first ’30 km/hr soon’ road sign is a regulatory sign, with a ‘crosswalk soon’ sign attached.
  • This alone indicates that the speed limit up ahead is 30 km/hr 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • It doesn’t directly suggest a school zone is ahead, even though it does blatantly suggest a school crosswalk ahead; which in turn does suggest that there is a school ahead!
  • If you think about it, regular school zones never have advanced warning that it will soon be 30 km/hr, right? They just show up.
  • It is also peculiar how the 30 km/hr regulatory sign is a different size – slightly larger – than the normally seen 30 km/hr ‘tab’ that’s attached to the average school zone sign.

 

30 km/hr Ahead

 

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Playground Zone Area?

 

  • Secondly, the next sign we see after that is what appears to be a playground zone sign on a billboard!
  • That’s a bit odd to being with, as normal playground zones are not attached to billboards.
  • It says ‘This is a designated playground zone area. Please adhere to the posted speed limit.’
  • Ok. That sounds straight forward. But is the point of this sign to let us know that this is an official playground zone, or simply to ask us to adhere to the posted speed limit; something we are already supposed to be doing? If this is an official playground zone then why is there just a playground sign and not a speed sign on the billboard as well? What purpose does this serve exactly?
  • Is this actually a playground zone, an upcoming school zone, or should we be going 30 km/hr here at all times, even on Sundays and non-school hours? Or is it all of the above?
  • This billboard is very beautiful and it’s nice that it is trying to remind drivers that there may be children around, but since it doesn’t have a 30 km/hr tab, all it does is confuse us. That’s just my opinion.
  • OK, there might be a lot of kids around this area. We get it.
  • To me this sign is kind of like an April Fool’s joke, since there’s already 13 million road signs on this 2.5 km stretch of road! It’s one more thing to confuse and distract drivers:

 

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To school zone or not to school zone?

 

  • Next we have what appears to be a school zone, but it might not be.
  • It’s subtle, but the slightly different shape and size of the regulatory 30 km/hr sign makes me wonder if this is actually a school zone, or if it’s just that there happens to be a school within a regulatory 30 km/hr zone which is in effect 24/7/365.
  • You can see how the official school zone sign (left) has the tab on the bottom which is smaller and a different shape than the regulatory sign on the other sign (right) which are often seen by themselves; indicating the speed zone is in effect all the time, even on Sundays at 4 o’clock in the morning.
  • So the question is, if this is not actually a school speed zone, why do we have signs that make it look eerily like it is?

 

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Back of Signs

 

  • ICBC teaches us to look for the back of the school zone sign for the drivers who are travelling in the opposite direction, indicating to us the beginning of the school zone for them and the end of it for us.
  • This is a nice simple concept in theory.
  • Personally I would prefer a small sign indicating the end of the zone, then I am not scanning behind bushes and posts on the wrong side of the road.

 

 

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  • In this case, I can find the back of the sign on the opposite side of the road since I am looking for it.
  • But there are some interesting things I notice about this.
  • Firstly is it is completely hiding behind a tree. Are we really expected to find this like it’s Where’s Waldo or something?
  • Secondly, it appears as though this is similar to the regulatory sign with the school tab we have seen already.
  • So this might not be a school zone sign with a speed tab attached; it’s a regulatory sign with a school zone sign attached; these are very different things!
  • Are we really supposed to be able to analyze this while driving and also paying attention to all of the other road hazards (not to mention on a road where there may be a lot of children) which may present themselves in the meantime?
  • Did you hide this sign behind the tree on purpose?

 

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  • Not even 5 seconds later – in fact you can almost see it from the point where you’re at the back of the other sign just mentioned – there is another regulatory 30 km/hr sign, which translates that the speed limit there is 30 km/hr 24/7/365.
  • This speed zone is in effect until you are notified of something different by way of another sign.
  • After realizing this, it would make no sense that that is a regular school speed zone, since if we are going by the back of the sign on the opposite side of the road, that would mean we’re allowed to drive 50 km/hr for 4 seconds until the next 30 km/hr regulatory sign.
  • Maybe that’s why the other sign is hiding behind the tree; the road sign God’s don’t want us to see it and are actually trying to ease the confusion.

 

Another 30 km/hr Regulatory Sign

 

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50 km/hr regulatory sign

 

Here it is not too far up the road:

 

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Verdict

 

Considering the above, and I could be wrong here, but I can conclude 2 things :

  1. This is totally confusing
  2. The speed limit is 30 km/hr inclusive from the first 30 km sign until the 50 km/hr sign at the top of the hill, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

I should mention that I counted this many road signs on this 2.5 km stretch :

  • 2 school zone signs,
  • 1 do-not-enter sign,
  • 20 Chevrons,
  • 8 Narrow road ahead signs,
  • 8 Crosswalk signs,
  • 3 speed signs,
  • 1 curve ahead sign,
  • 3 school crosswalk soon signs,
  • 3 stop signs,
  • 1 30 km/hr ahead sign,
  • 1 stop sign ahead sign,
  • 1 traffic light soon sign,
  • 1 share the road sign
  • and a partridge in a pear tree.
  • This doesn’t include all of the parking and no stopping signs which there also seems to be 1 million of.
  • I am bad at counting but that’s at least 54 signs on 2.5 km.
  • Not including the playground billboard. Maybe this is why the speed limit is 30 km/hr!!
  • 1) So that you can have time to read and process 54 signs and
  • 2) at least 28 of the signs are warnings about the road becoming narrow.
  • So it’s a narrow, hilly, curvy road – which normally leads to visibility issues – with a school in the middle. Why couldn’t there just be one sign saying this at the beginning?!

What do you think?

 

Do you agree? Let me know.

 

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By the way, if anyone has survived this article all the way down to here and is wondering what a Chevron sign is, it’s these things of course:

 

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Please Drive Safely.