Lighting up Lougheed Highway for safety

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MAPLE RIDGE – New street lights will be installed along Highway 7 between Laity Street and 220th Street, providing lighting along a particularly dark section of this busy corridor to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

People who live and work in Maple Ridge have been calling for lighting upgrades due to recent crashes, many involving pedestrians and cyclists. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is taking action by installing new street lights along a two-kilometre-long stretch. This will make it easier for drivers to spot a pedestrian or cyclist, particularly at night or in bad weather conditions.

“There have been too many accidents in this corridor involving pedestrians, which has impacted the whole community,” said Lisa Beare, MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, on behalf of Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “I’m delighted to be part of a government that has listened to the community’s call for a change that will increase safety.”

From 2013 to 2017, there were 471 collisions on this section of highway that currently has no lighting, except at Laity Street and 216th Street. According to ICBC, eight of these crashes involved pedestrians and seven involved cyclists.

Research indicates illumination at urban intersections can reduce pedestrian-related night-time collisions by 42%. Lighting on highways can reduce night-time vehicle collisions by 21%.

“We have heard the concerns from drivers about the lack of street lights and how hard it is to see pedestrians and cyclists, especially when it’s raining, foggy or dark out,” said Bob D’Eith, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission. “That’s why we are going to install new lighting to improve safety for everyone who travels along this popular route.”

ICBC is contributing $94,300 towards the total project budget of $1.4 million. Construction of the upgrade is scheduled to begin in January 2019 and finish that spring.

“We’re pleased to contribute to this important project to help keep pedestrians, cyclists and drivers in Maple Ridge safe,” said Paul de Leur, manager of ICBC’s road improvement program. “With crashes at an all-time high in our province, our road improvement program is showing positive results in reducing crashes and injuries at targeted locations throughout B.C. We’ll continue to work with municipalities and government on projects that help reduce claims costs and keep everyone safe.”