Coquitlam crosswalk safety a priority — Evergreen project manager

David Rathwell and his daughter, Jessica, urge drivers and pedestrians to be careful around a new crosswalk across from Coquitlam Centre. - DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
David Rathwell and his daughter, Jessica, urge drivers and pedestrians to be careful around a new crosswalk across from Coquitlam Centre.

David Rathwell wants his daughter to take a bus from the Coquitlam bus station to Coquitlam Centre — across the street — rather than negotiate a new crosswalk he says is too dangerous.

Taking a second bus from the loop to Anson Avenue and Pinetree Way would be a hassle but father (who assists people with mobility challenges to plan safe routes) and daughter Jessica (who works at the mall and is visually impaired) say it’s best to be safe.

“This is a major area and it deserves more public attention and awareness,” he said.

On Saturday, Rathwell counted the number of cars that drove through the recently installed pedestrian-activated light at the crosswalk that was relocated west from Pinetree Way to make room for Evergreen Line construction and decided it was too risky for his daughter.

He said more than 30 cars sped through the light over two hours Saturday morning and afternoon.

But this week, changes have been made to curb red-light running by drivers so pedestrians can cross Barnet without fear.

“The last thing we want is for people to be unsafe,” said Amanda Farrell, project manager for the Evergreen Line construction project.

She said flaggers will be in place during rush hour at least in the short-term until drivers get used to the temporary crosswalk, which is necessary to permit guideway construction for the rapid transit system until the spring of 2015.

As well, the speed limit for Barnet between Pinetree Way and Johnson Street has been dropped to 40 km/h and Coquitlam RCMP Const. Quentin Frewing said police will be in the area on foot and in patrol cars to enforce it.

He also advised pedestrians to take more care when crossing the busy street by removing headphones, paying attention and making eye contract with drivers before stepping off the curb.


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