Friends of a teen who was hit Wednesday evening while walking across Lougheed Highway are calling for a crosswalk along the stretch.
The 14-year-boy was crossing the highway, near 210th Street, when a pickup truck travelling east struck him around 6:15 p.m.
Staff Sgt. Mike Bhatti said the force of the collision knocked the youth several meters into the air.
The boy was taken to hospital, with significant injuries, including broken bones.
Ridge Meadows RCMP closed eastbound lanes for 45 minutes to conduct an investigation.
Many, though, are blaming the distance between traffic lights along the stretch of highway for forcing pedestrians to jaywalk across the busy thoroughfare.
Kids cross it every day going to and from school, said Tanya Delmark, whose son is a friend of the teen who was hit.
“A cross walk in this area is desperately needed.”
Lougheed Hwy., however, is a provincial responsibility, so the District of Maple Ridge can’t do much other than field complaints about the poorly lit and hazardous section that spans from 207th to 222nd street.
That said, municipal engineer Dave Pollock noted the stretch of highway isn’t an area people “frequently” complain about.
The district has discussed the issue of a crosswalk with the Ministry of Transportation in the past. It has also sent a proposal to add a bike lane and more street lights from Laity to 216th streets, which would benefit pedestrians. But it has yet to hear back from the province.
Pollock said a crosswalk or an overpass doesn’t mean pedestrians would use it, or stop jaywalking.
“We certainly strive to make our roads safe, but we rely on people using the roads responsibly.”