New street lights for dark section of Lougheed Highway

Will be installed between Laity and 220th streets in Maple Ridge.

  • Nov. 21, 2018 12:20 p.m.

Tassis Vix was killed in a hit-and-run incident at night in the 21800-block of Lougheed Hwy. in April. (files) Tasssis Vix was killed in a hit-and-run incident at night in the 21800-block of Lougheed Hwy. in April. (files)

New street lights will be installed along a dark stretch of Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge where two people were killed in recent years.

The lights, between Laity and 220th streets, are meant to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers, and will be paid for with provincial funding announced Wednesday.

Maple Ridge residents have been calling for lighting upgrades due to incidents involving vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Tassis Vix, a 31-year-old mother who worked at a local veterinary clinic, was killed in a hit-and-run incident at night in the 21800-block of Lougheed Hwy. in April.

In April 2015, 38-year-old Gordon Michael Acker, of Merritt, was killed after being struck by an eastbound vehicle while trying to cross the highway near 216th Street at night.

Street lights will now be installed along a two-kilometre-long stretch of the highway.

“There have been too many accidents in this corridor involving pedestrians, which has impacted the whole community,” said Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows.

From 2013 to 2017, there were 471 collisions on this section of highway that currently has no lighting, except at Laity and 216th streets.

According to ICBC, eight of those involved pedestrians and seven, cyclists.

Research indicates illumination at urban intersections can reduce pedestrian-related night-time collisions by 42 per cent.

Lighting on highways can reduce night-time vehicle collisions by 21 per cent.

“We have heard the concerns from drivers about the lack of street lights and how hard it is to see pedestrians and cyclists, especially when it’s raining, foggy or dark out,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission.

“That’s why we are going to install new lighting to improve safety for everyone who travels along this popular route.”

ICBC is contributing $94,300 towards the total project budget of $1.4 million.

Construction of the upgrade is scheduled to begin in January 2019 and finish that spring.

“We’re pleased to contribute to this important project to help keep pedestrians, cyclists and drivers in Maple Ridge safe,” said Paul de Leur, manager of ICBC’s road improvement program.

“With crashes at an all-time high in our province, our road improvement program is showing positive results in reducing crashes and injuries at targeted locations throughout B.C. We’ll continue to work with municipalities and government on projects that help reduce claims costs and keep everyone safe.”

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