Traffic lights in sync on Dewdney

Computerized synchronization keeps traffic flowing along the jam-packed commuter artery that runs through the heart of Maple Ridge.

Traffic on Dewdney Trunk Road is moving as fast as technically possible to do so safely, thanks to computerized synchronization of traffic lights.

The jam-packed commuter artery that runs through the heart of Maple Ridge has had traffic lights working in harmony for the past decade, says Frank Quinn, public works general manager.

The program is in place between 232nd and 222nd streets because the short distances between the intersections.

“All things being equal, we give priority to cars going westbound,” in the morning, said Quinn. “Then it reverses in the evening.”

The synchronization is subject to cross traffic and pedestrians trying to cross the road, he added.

Maple Ridge doesn’t manage Lougheed Highway because it’s under the authority of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The topic came up at a recent City of Maple Ridge council meeting, Quinn said, and was also mentioned on the Facebook group Maple Ridge Council Watch.

Despite the coordinated lights, which are sequenced to turn green as a vehicle proceeds down the road, Dewdney Trunk Road gets crowded during both evening and morning rush hours as people in leave and return to Maple Ridge.

But some relief may be on its way with the four-lane widening of 128th Avenue from 210th to 224th streets.

Work on that starts on Phase 1 early this summer and includes a separated multi-use bike lane on the north side of the road.

Phase 1 goes from 210th to 216th streets, connecting into Golden Ears Way.

Phase 2 goes from 216th to 224th streets, contingent on capital funding.

The road will go over top a new Metro Vancouver water line now under construction.

• An open house was held on Jan. 28, where residents were able to view the preliminary design and provide feedback.

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