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No crossing signal coming for Maple Ridge street

An 88-year-old woman was hit crossing 224th Street in June. - Colleen Flanagan/The News
An 88-year-old woman was hit crossing 224th Street in June.
— image credit: Colleen Flanagan/The News

It’s not perfect, but Maple Ridge staff keep trying to find ways to improve 224th Street north of Dewdney Trunk Road, an area where many seniors live.

But it’s going to be a while before a full pedestrian-controlled signal is installed anywhere on the stretch from Dewdney Trunk Road to 124th Avenue.

There’s simply not the volume of vehicles or pedestrians to warrant installing that, says District of Maple Ridge traffic technologist Michael Eng.

Every year, the district monitors 30 locations to see if they need such improvement, including 224th Street, and this year again they found it didn’t meet the criteria.

The street was the site of pedestrian-vehicle collision in June, when the driver of a pickup truck hit an 88-year-old woman in a crosswalk.

Eng said district staff meet residents from the seniors centre on an ongoing basis to review possible improvements.

“We’ve had a lot of discussion with the people in that area.

“I think we’ve listened. I think we’ve accommodated some these requests.”

Recently, the marked crosswalk at 121st Avenue was moved from the north to south side to improve visibility. As well, an overhead sign with direct downward lighting was installed. With similar intersections at Brown Avenue and 122nd Avenue, there are now three such crosswalks.

“Now, all three crosswalks in the region have the same features,” Eng said.

As well, there’s a speed reader board that lights up when southbound motorists go to fast. That was put on the road to remind motorists exiting Abernethy Way to slow down as they approach downtown Maple Ridge.

Eng pointed out the road was reduced from four to two lanes several years ago, as well bike lanes were added.

“Regardless of what we do, there’s some level of danger,” Eng added.

One device that won’t be used on the street is the pedestrian-activated flashing amber crossing signal. That’s too confusing to motorists and pedestrians alike who don’t know if they should stay or go.

Eng said most drivers in Maple Ridge, “are pretty respectful of cross walks.”

He said an ideal way to cross a street is to be attentive, stick out your hand to show you want to cross and make eye contact with the motorist to be sure he or she is hitting the brake.

All intersections, whether they have painted lines on them or not, are crosswalks.

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