Walking is going to get a bit safer in some parts of Coquitlam.
The city is spending $105,000 from its infrastructure reserve fund for pedestrian improvements, including the installation of rapid-flashing beacons at some crosswalks.
The solar-powered lights — similar to those next to Rocky Point Park in Port Moody — let drivers know when someone is crossing the street, said Jozsef Dioszeghy, the city’s general manager of engineering and public works
“The beacon flashes intensely and at irregular and increasing flash rates to increase the awareness of the drivers,” he said. “Most importantly, the drivers will pay attention to the pedestrian crossing.”
The new flashing beacons will be installed at four intersections: David Avenue and Soball Street; the Coquitlam Crunch crossing at the lower part of Lansdowne Drive; Johnson Street at Panorama Park; and Robinson Street at Egmont Avenue.
The city will also be investing in speed warning indicators for vehicles driving through school zones. The signs are activated when a vehicle approaches and will tell a driver to slow down if they are over the speed limit.
New crossing lights and signs are not the only initiatives that will make things easier for pedestrians in Coquitlam.
The city is allocating $500,000 for a sidewalk repair blitz, which Dioszeghy said will replace close to 1,000 aging panels, mainly in the southwest neighbourhoods.
"The sidewalk panels in question are damaged, broken, misaligned, etc.," he said in an email. "Getting them repaired/replaced will make them easier to use by all users and prevent future tripping hazards."
The sidewalk blitz is similar to other infrastructure spending programs initiated by the city in recent years.
In 2017, the city launched its park blitz program, which repaired aging playground infrastructure across the city. And in 2018, the city kicked off the neighbourhood blitz program, removing graffiti, repainting city-owned street lights and poles, cleaning up vegetation and removing redundant signs among other improvements.
MORE SIDEWALKS COMING
The city of Coquitlam spends $1.2 million annually to expand its sidewalk capacity. In 2019, the city will add sidewalks to:
• the east side of Guilby Street between Austin and Rochester avenues;
• the east side of Crosby Street between Apian Way and Ivy Avenue;
• the east side of Schoolhouse Street between King Albert and Foster avenues;
• and the west side of Irvine street between Dewdney Trunk Road to 50 m north or Reece Avenue.