Red light to deter Alex Fraser bridge cheaters

New traffic signal will create extra delay for shortcutters who try to use Annacis Island as a bypass

A red line along Highway 91 southbound shows typical congestion over the Alex Fraser Bridge that prompts some drivers to use the Annacis Island off-ramp as a bypass.

A partial solution has been found to deter motorists who cross the Alex Fraser Bridge from using Annacis Island as a shortcut to bypass other traffic.

The transportation ministry will install a traffic light at the Highway 91 southbound off-ramp to Cliveden Avenue.

A red light there with no right turn allowed on red will create extra delay for the short-cutters that use the Annacis off ramp, then try to turn around on the island and quickly go back up onto the Alex Fraser to jump ahead of other bridge users.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said that should encourage those motorists to stay on the bridge, rather than bypass through Annacis roads, and “help alleviate some of the frustration with rush-hour short-cutters.”

Installation of the new signal will begin in October.

The ministry is also exploring the potential to also install a red light enforcement camera there to automatically ticket drivers who violate the no-right-turn-on-red sign that will apply to that light.

The fix for the Annacis off-ramp comes as part of a broader strategy to unclog congestion at the Alex Fraser and Highway 91, which includes a new interchange at Highway 91 and 72 Avenue to eliminate the traffic lights there, along with more tow trucks to clear stalled vehicles and consideration of the possible use of a new counterflow system on the bridge.

Workers and businesses on Annacis have complained for months of excessive delays and hindered access because of the congestion on the island created by bridge cheaters.