An early morning traffic accident at 272nd Street and 28th Avenue has once again sparked safety concerns with the Aldergrove Community Association.
The Township of Langley had decided to move forward with plans to install a stoplight at that intersection back in March, but a pedestrian operated crosswalk and in-pavement flashers are still the only defence to warn motorists.
Cashmere Roder, president of the association, said she had come across the fender bender on Thursday, Sept. 24.
“Luckily it was between two vehicles and no pedestrians,” she said, but added that she’s worried construction won’t start soon enough.
“It has only been two weeks since school started and we now have had a accident,” Roder said. “At this point I’m not sure if there is anything that can be done immediately to solve this safety concern and hazard for our community.”
Roder said the Aldergrove Community Association held their annual general meeting earlier in the month and primarily spoke about the problem intersection.
Their biggest concern is children and families walking to Shortreed Elementary during the morning and afternoon rush hours as there are no stop lines painted on the north side of the intersection and the pedestrian controlled yellow lights often do not yield enough attention.
A mother and daughter were run down by a vehicle in the crosswalk last February, prompting an immediate discussion to have a stoplight installed.
$350,000 was allotted in a unanimous vote by the Township mayor and council to install the stoplight over a curb bulge installation or pedestrian signal option.
But seven months after that decision was made, Township Councillor Bob Long said, as it stands right now when the lights are flashing, it’s still basically “good luck” to those trying to cross.
“Three different options were put forth and the Township choose the Cadillac of those options by deciding to install a new traffic light system,” Long said.
But the councillor explained that he had initially put forth the idea of a crossing guard to help pedestrians cross; it was met with challenges that ultimately would not let that plan come into fruition.
“I said there should be a crossing guard from the beginning; they can see the kids, there’s social interaction and were employing someone,” Long explained. “From what I understand, it was going to have to be a volunteer position, so I never really got a response on how we could get that started from the school board.”
Long said he had hoped the lights would be installed before the start of the school year, but noted that COVID slowed down the planning process.
He told the Aldergrove Star that the parts have been ordered and installation is currently anticipated to be completed by mid-November, barring any unforeseen matters.
“We need a safe crossing for our children and community before another person gets hit by a vehicle or a major accident happens and it costs someone their life,” Roder said.
Long added that, at the very least, he hopes the beginning of the construction with slow motorists until the stoplight is ready.
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