Yennadon students and parents appreciate the new pedestrian controlled crosswalks. (City of Maple Ridge/Special to The News)

Yennadon students and parents appreciate the new pedestrian controlled crosswalks. (City of Maple Ridge/Special to The News)

Solar-powered crosswalks for Maple Ridge students

Two new pedestrian-controlled crossings near Yennadon school

Parents in Maple Ridge got an early Christmas present from the City of Maple Ridge – a safer crosswalk for school children.

On Dec. 17, Mayor Mike Morden joined members of the Yennadon Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) and school principal Lisa Lawrence to mark the installation of new pedestrian activated crosswalks on 232 Street, at 129th and 126th Avenues.

They are solar powered, which makes for easier installation than traditional crossing lights.

“I want to thank the Yennadon PAC and school administration for their advocacy in working with the city’s engineering department to get these sites evaluated for crossing signals,” said Morden. “The safety of Maple Ridge’s school children is a top priority for council, and we are proud of these new installations which make use of solar power. We anticipate the ability to install at far more locations for far less money than typical crosswalks, which require sidewalks and roads to be dug up to supply power and wiring.”

He said the request was prioritized by engineering staff after a study of the site to ensure that national design standards were met. The solar powered ‘Rectangular Rapid Flashing beacons’ are a new technology for the city.

Morden said the city’s engineering staff complete 20-30 formal intersection studies each year, based on advocacy from community members. Citizens often email council members to advocate for crosswalk upgrades, but Morden said they should email engineering@mapleridge.ca first, to allow traffic experts to evaluate requests.

“As part of our Safer School Travel program, our focus is to provide a realistic and balanced approach between providing for the safety of children and the mobility of vehicles,” added Morden.

In 2022, there will be additional work in this area, including an upgrade of the pedestrian crossing at 232 Street and 122 Avenue, which is part of the larger capital works project on the multi-use pathway extension on 232 Street north to Abernethy Way.

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