A 23-year-old woman was killed after being struck and knocked off her bicycle by a pickup truck in Maple Ridge on Monday, July 20, 2020. The driver remained on scene. (Shane MacKichan files/Special to The News)

A 23-year-old woman was killed after being struck and knocked off her bicycle by a pickup truck in Maple Ridge on Monday, July 20, 2020. The driver remained on scene. (Shane MacKichan files/Special to The News)

LETTER: Deadline to voice opinion on highway upgrades looming

Ministry of transportation needs to hear from locals about dangers along rural Lougheed Highway

Dear Editor,

On July 20 of last year, an experienced long-distance cyclist who had cycled many parts of the world, embarked on a cross-Canada cycling journey from Vancouver to her hometown of Montreal.

RELATED: Cyclist, 23, struck and killed in Maple Ridge crash

That day would have been a perfect day to start a journey – perfect weather, maximum visibility on the road, and normal flow of auto traffic.

While she was cycling along Highway 7 [the Lougheed Highway], at Spilsbury Street in Maple Ridge, a provincial highway with a two-metre wide shoulder, the driver of a pickup truck – for some reason – failed to negotiate the curve, hit and bounced off the concrete barrier, and hit her at full speed.

The impact almost instantly took the life of the young woman and left behind bits and pieces of twisted metal fragments barely recognizable as former parts of a bicycle frame.

Exactly why the pickup truck failed to go around the curve is not yet clear, as the investigation by the RCMP is still ongoing.

RELATED: Cyclist killed in Maple Ridge remembered as experienced rider, kind friend

What is clear, however, is that the concrete barrier – designed to protect drivers from flying off a cliff in the event of an accident – is not designed to protect vulnerable, non-auto users from high speed autos.

RELATED LETTER: City needs to make local roads safer for all

An intuitive design, one would think, would be to put the bike lane on the other side of the barrier.

This design flaw became all the more painfully ironic, when we learned of the Highway 7 widening project between Maple Ridge and Mission, from 266 to 287 Streets, just east of where the young woman was killed.

A key objective of this project is, as we were told, to improve safety.

The design calls for the same arrangement of putting a two-metre shoulder beside the car lanes, just like on the photo.

The response from the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI), when asked why the bike lane is not on the other side of the concrete barrier, was to maintain “consistency” with the existing infrastructure.

Consistency, as in “consistently dangerous.”

RELATED: Cyclist struck along major rural Maple Ridge thoroughfare

This, despite the Province’s Road Safety Strategy aiming to have their roads the safest roads in North America. #VisionZero.

This, despite the province’s wonderful Active Transportation Strategy: Move.Commute.Connect, claiming a strong commitment to improve active transportation networks to make them safer, better connected and more enjoyable.

This, despite the BC Active Transportation Design Guide, released just last year, calling for physical separation between motor vehicles and vulnerable road users where there are high traffic volumes and speeds, which is clearly the case for that segment of the highway.

TransLink, which considers Highway 7 part of its Major Bike Network, expressed the same safety concerns for vulnerable road users in its feedback to the ministry.

RELATED: Stop the Harm – Saskatchewan cyclist riding for a cause passes through B.C.

Both the municipalities of Maple Ridge and Mission have designated Highway 7 as part of their cycling networks.

Also, Metro Vancouver designates Highway 7 as an integral part of its Regional Greenways 2050 Plan.

Last, but certainly not least, MoTI itself designates Highway 7 as part of its primary cycling network.

RELATED: Friends fundraise for family of 39-year-old cyclist killed in Pitt Meadows crash

MoTI can and must do better.

The Ministry of Transportation is now requesting the general public to provide feedback on this project. For more information, with a link to provide feedback, visit the Hub Cycling website.

Deadline for submitting your comments is Friday, Feb. 19, at 4 p.m.

Jackie and Ivan Chow, Maple Ridge

Ivan is co-chair of HUB Cycling committee

.


Do you have an opinion you’d like to share? Please send us a letter to the editor, including your first and last name, street address, and phone number. Email: editor@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Letter to the Editormaple ridgeRoad conditions

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pitt Meadows council has approved building a new RCMP detachment on Harris Road. (Special to The News)
Pitt Meadows council approves RCMP detachment at art gallery site

Building at Harris Road location would cost approximately $18.3 million

COVID-19. (Pixabay)
COVID-19 exposures at three Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows schools

Virus at Meadowridge, Pitt Meadows secondary and Highland Park elementary

Dr. Sabrina Bhatti managed to keep her new dentistry practice open during a pandemic. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge dentist battles through pandemic in first year of business

Dr. Sabrina Bhatti kept her new practice open for emergencies during worst months of COVID-19

Maple Ridge Secondary students Nana Yamamoto, left, and Tayah Bitter, center, along with teacher Maria Trudeau, organized a Mental Health and Wellness Week for the school. (Special to The News)
Maple Ridge high school promotes mental health during COVID

Maple Ridge Secondary will be holding a Mental Health and Wellness Week

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Grieving Pitt Meadows mom shares insights into son’s overdose death

The War on Drugs has been a failure and society needs to tackle drug use differently, mother says

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Excerpts from a conversation between Bria Fisher and the fake truLOCAL job. Fisher had signed a job agreement and was prepared to start work for what she thought was truLOCAL before she learned it was a scam. (Contributed)
B.C. woman warning others after losing $3,000 in job scam

Bria Fisher was hired by what she thought was a Canadian company, only to be out thousands

Some of the hundreds of pounds of trash removed by divers last month from Abbotsford’s Walmsley Lake.(Henry Wang photo)
VIDEO: Divers remove 462 pounds of trash from Abbotsford lake

Walmsley Lake dive uncovers several tires, hundreds of drink containers and a tent

Trent Miner is returning to the Vancouver Giants, the team announced. He has been released by the Colorado Eagles of the AHL.(Rik Fedyck/Vancouver Giants)
Trent Miner returns to play goal for Vancouver Giants

Netminder was part of epic 11-game winning-streak by Langley-based team

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Most Read