Safety of Hammond residents not a priority

Letter writer Eric Phillips claims Maple Ridge is ignoring the residents of Hammond

Editor, The News:

Hammond ignored or forgotten, I’m writing out of frustration and a need to let the community know that it appears to the residents of the Port Hammond area don’t seem to matter to the district staff or council.

A few years ago there was a meeting with Michael Eng, myself and Frank Quinn in regards to the traffic and accidents at the corner of Maple Crescent and Lorne Avenue, to see if there was anything that could be done to improve the situation there. It was suggested that a roundabout could be put there, but was quickly told it was too expensive to do, so we suggested a four-way stop. And they said they would go and take a look at it.

We also requested a traffic count be done on Maple Crescent and the 203rd Street area to determine how much traffic was coming from Golden Ears Bridge and other directions.

The results of the traffic count stated they was no problem and nothing was done.

After that, the president of the Hammond elementary PAC group, with input from the RCMP and school staff and myself, met with municipal staff at the district hall with a stop sign proposal that might help the situation.

District staff said they would take the matter to the safety committee, and after a very long time of not hearing from it, I spoke to district staff again and was told a stop sign was not warranted.

The same group, after some time, then asked to have the district look at putting a sidewalk down Lorne Avenue, from Maple Crescent to Princess Street, to make it safer for the children to walk down that road.

The district suggested expanding the pavement on Lorne Ave. for the kids to walk on, not a proper sidewalk for them, and we have not heard anything since about either of the requests, so I guess the safety of our residents is not a priority to them because staff won’t answer any questions about these issues.

Maybe it will take another accident at either Maple Cresent or Lorne Ave. to get them to consider the  concerns of the residents of Hammond.

Or maybe they will continue to build traffic roundabouts at places like 232nd Street and Fern Cresesnt, where the traffic is not as high as it is in our corridors.

We have also requested the upgrade of the S-curve between 115th Avenue and Westview Street for some time, and the only thing that has been done was to clear the hedge on the west side so you can see the speeding cars and trucks coming the other way and be able to avoid them.

The other item is that the Hammond Area Plan has been removed from the council matrix without a hint of when it will brought back for disccusion.

But going ahead are rezonings that are eliminating our heritage building, which creates the atmosphere of the older community.

District staff all seem to forget the govenment of Maple Ridge started on the McIver farm on Sept. 12, 1874 with the first council meeting and they have been trying to eliminate the community every since in favour of other areas of Maple Ridge.

I only wish they would get off the pot and do something.

Eric Phillips

Maple Ridge