The construction of a pedestrian-controlled crosswalk at 152A Street and 16 Avenue has been delayed, however, the City of Surrey indicated that the project still remains a priority.
Pedestrian safety at the intersection has been a point of concern for White Rock resident Jacqueline Lewis after she helped a bloodied 74-year-old woman across 16 Avenue last year.
In July 2018, Elke Donschenko tripped on a gravel patch in White Rock, breaking her wrist and fracturing her finger. Lewis, along with another woman, helped Donschenko cross 16 Avenue, which Lewis described as dangerous due to motorists not slowing down.
Lewis, who lives in the neighbourhood and regularly crosses the street with her husband to access the Abby Lane Health Centre, said she frequently watches people “dodge” traffic to cross the road.
She also expressed concern for elderly residents with mobility issues who have to walk to the nearest pedestrian-controlled intersection, which is at 152 Street and 16 Avenue.
Last year, the City of Surrey emailed Lewis saying that the 152A intersection has been “flagged” for the installation of a pedestrian-controlled signal and that it was anticipated to be built this year.
Lewis has been in email communication with both City of White Rock and Surrey throughout the year and told Peace Arch News this week that she has been receiving the “runaround” from both municipalities as to why construction has not yet been started.
Although there was a “hiccup” with securing a permit from the City of White Rock to install the pedestrian light, City of Surrey transport engineer Katarina Stevovic said the project is now in the hands of the contractor.
Stevovic explained Monday that the project was bundled with other contract work, which helps the city receive a “favourable” price on the work.
“And then it’s up to the contractor to go through and schedule all their work,” Stevovic said. “The work has been tendered, we’ve ordered the contract.”
The hiccup, Stevovic said, related to the City of White Rock turning down a permit filed by the contractor, as the intersection shares borders with White Rock.
White Rock director of engineering and municipal operations Jim Gordon told PAN Monday that the Surrey contractor was set to start in August, but there was other construction activity in the area.
“We asked that they wait until that finished, which was some time ago. There’s no reason why they can’t be going now,” Gordon said.
Gordon indicated there are a number of complexities with permitting multiple unrelated construction projects to take place in the same area at the same time
“You want to make sure there’s only one contractor in the area and that contractor can take responsibility for the traffic control, pedestrian control and WorkSafe. If you have contractors overlapping, you know, it can be unclear as to whose jurisdiction the project is,” Gordon said.
Lewis said she blames the City of White Rock for the delay.
“I’m finished with this, I don’t care anymore. Because if I have to stand there in the middle of the road and stop the traffic when I go across there again, then that’s what I’ll do,” Lewis said.
Tuesday morning, Lewis told PAN that Gordon phoned her to explain the delay, and said that the plan is to have the crosswalk built by spring 2020, weather permitting.