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Letter: It's time to install traffic signs that protect Tri-City wildlife and slow down speedsters

In an open letter to mayors in Coquitlam and Port Moody, the writers claim they've tried to stop vehicles themselves on more than one occasion.
Port Moody Police (PMPD) and Tri-Cities Speed Watch were set up along Heritage Mountain Boulevard looking for speedsters in the 50 km/h zone on Oct. 27, 2021, as part of an ongoing collaborative effort to encourage safer driving, especially during the colder months.

The Editor, I would like to draw your attention to a problem with roads in the Eagle Ridge area of Coquitlam and Port Moody. On several occasions now, while on a walk through the neighbourhood, we have seen deer crossing the road in the early evening.

They walk out into traffic on Heritage Mountain, David, Lansdowne Drive and Noons Creek, and we have seen that it causes problems with the traffic on these roads. It does not help that, almost invariably the traffic on these roads is travelling over the speed limit of 50 km/h.

These roads are adjacent to forested areas like Bert Flynn Park, and there are many other ravines and woods. Occasionally there are bears crossing.

I have just returned from a popular walk of mine which takes me down Heritage Mountain from David to the bottom of Heritage Mountain and spotted a mother deer and her two nearly full-grown youngsters at the side of the road. At the time, many cars were speeding along and I was aware of the fact that the deer were showing signs of wanting to cross the road.

First, the mother started to cross, so I immediately tried to signal to the speeding cars that they needed to slow down and pointed to the deer. The mother was followed by one of the youngsters who even stopped in the middle of the road, oblivious of the danger. He was followed later by his sibling, and in each case I had to flag cars down.

This is not the first time I have had to do this, especially on this road.

Quite recently, I came across a mother and her youngster beside the road. This was the same area Heritage Mountain just south of Bert Flynn Park, where I saw two bears crossing in the middle of the day on another occasion.

This road often has wildlife beside it and crossing it, yet there are no warnings about wildlife crossing; there should be and, in addition, the speed limit should be lowered and enforced by police. There is a sign towards the bottom of the road indicating 50 km/h yet it is constantly flashing 65 km/h and more as cars speed by. It should not be up to me or other pedestrians to police the area and try to protect vulnerable wildlife! An accidental collision with wildlife can be just as devastating to humans as it will be to wildlife. So, even if wildlife may not be the major concern of either city, surely accidents with wildlife should be a concern because of the human consequences. I dare say that ICBC and health services would be interested. At the very least people should be warned about the presence of wildlife in the area, especially now when the mornings are darker and evenings are longer.

Dusk and dawn at this time of the year coincide with the peak traffic hours which, along with wet and slippery road surfaces, makes it more difficult to stop in a short distance, and speeding does not help. Fall, of course, is, the season when bucks have one thing on their mind, and it is not watching out for traffic! Some cities use flashing signs warning of possible wildlife encounters in areas of high traffic.

Perhaps there should be more enforcement of speed limits, and there should be several warning flashers advising "wildlife crossing" and "reduce speed." - Rosemary and Derek de Sa, Coquitlam