Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese has made a direct appeal to his Surrey counterpart to add a traffic light to an accident-prone stretch of 72 Avenue, where it crosses the border between the Township and its neighbour.
The Township has the money to build a traffic light at 196 Street and 72 Avenue, but can’t proceed until a design consultant hired by the city of Surrey finishes work.
In his Oct. 1 letter to Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts, released to The Times on Tuesday, Froese said the planned improvements to the intersection are scheduled to begin in early 2015, but residents feel upgrades are required sooner.
“ … we are requesting that you direct your staff to try and expedite the works to ensure that these mechanisms for pedestrian safety commence as soon as possible,” Froese said.
“Dianne, I appreciate your help in moving this item to the forefront,” Froese added.
Township council voted in September to lobby Surrey to speed up work on the intersection.
There have been a number of serious accidents where the road coming from the east narrows to two lanes, and a ditch on one side leaves pedestrians about a metre of space to walk on next to oncoming traffic, without a sidewalk or curb to separate them.
A recent collision claimed the life of an 83-year-old man on Sept. 4.
He was hit by a car.
Gary Hee, who lives near the intersection, launched a petition to improve traffic safety along 72 Avenue last year after a young boy was hit while rollerblading and a 19-year-old woman was struck in a hit-and-run crash and left lying in a ditch.
Plans call for widening of 72 Avenue between 196 Street and 200 Street to four lanes, including left turn lanes and bicycle lanes.
Township staff were to conduct pedestrian and traffic counts at the scene of the fatality, where two stop signs currently stand, “to determine if changes to the intersection traffic control [at that location] are warranted.”