Traffic along 280th rankles residents

Increase in gravel trucks started with new highway light

It starts as soon as the sun’s up, sometimes sooner.

Gravel trucks, a steady procession of them, have been using 280th Street in east Maple Ridge as their main thoroughfare between gravel pits north of Dewdney Trunk Road and construction sites in the Fraser Valley.

Ira Kibbe lives near the Ruskin ball diamonds, which straddle 280th Street on either side.

He says the noise is so bad along the road in front of his house, that he no longer uses his front patio.

“This used to be a pretty quiet stretch of road,” he said. “Not anymore. You can’t even have a conversation out there.”

Kibbe has even taken to parking his car at the side of the road, in effort to make the roadway narrower and encourage drivers to slow down.

“It’s pretty scary coming out of the driveway,” he said.

The problem started with the installation of traffic lights at Lougheed Highway and 280th Street, allowing easy access to the rural road.

The gravel trucks have taken full advantage, Kibbe observed.

He said he’d like to see lower speed limits, which might convince the gravel truck drivers to take a different route.

For the stretch of road between the ball diamonds, a crosswalk or speed bumps would make things safer for park users.

“A lot of times teams will play on one field and have to cross the road to play their next game,” he said.

Kibbe said his own dog was struck and killed two years ago while crossing the street between the two parks.

Currently, there are no plans for traffic calming along the stretch of road, said Frank Quinn, Maple Ridge’s general manager for public works.

Kibbe believes it’s a matter of time before there is another serious car accident occurs along the road. In 2010, a motorcyclist and a Dodge Caravan collided head on 280th Street along the curving section of road before Lougheed Highway. Also in 2010, a flagperson was struck by a driver in an hit-an-run accident on the 10400-block of 280th Street.

 

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