Several more brightly lit crosswalks plus some LED street lighting are soon coming to Chilliwack.
They come at the same time as a petition that was started by Chilliwack resident, Fawn Larson, calling for a pedestrian-controlled crosswalk at a downtown intersection following a hit-and-run involving a cyclist on Oct. 8.
Larson emailed Mayor Ken Popove requesting a “pedestrian-controlled, bright, well lit-up crosswalk that no one can miss” at First Avenue and Nowell Street where the alleged hit-and-run happened.
Even though it wasn’t exactly what she was hoping for, she did receive some positive feedback.
Twenty new ‘Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon’ (RRFB) devices, which attract drivers’ attention due to the flashing lights will be installed throughout the city starting Nov. 9.
Although there are no plans to install one at First and Nowell, the mayor confirmed one will be installed nearby at First Avenue and Charles Street, two blocks east of Nowell.
Following Larson’s email, City of Chilliwack staff went out to First and Nowell to inspect visibility at the intersection.
“Staff have checked and have not reported any issues with sight lines for vehicles approaching the crosswalk. Staff will ensure the crosswalk markings will be upgraded to the “zebra” style for improved visibility. This may be completed this fall as long as weather cooperates,” reads a statement from the city.
New LED street lighting is also coming to First Avenue.
“This should help drivers see pedestrians as they wait to cross at this location in the evening,” Popove said, referring to First and Nowell.
The construction contract for the LED street lighting is currently out for tender and is scheduled to go to council for approval on Nov. 3. The current completion date for the contract is March 31, 2021.
Not all hope is lost for an RRFB at First and Nowell.
Engineering staff will be considering one at that location as part of a “future special crosswalk program,” Popove added.
The city is typically able to fund a few additional crosswalk locations each year.
“I’d like to still pursue this petition and see if I can push it because the issue still exists,” Larson noted, adding that she is thankful for the city’s efforts to help in the interim.
To sign your name to Larson’s petition for a pedestrian-controlled RRFB crosswalk at First Avenue and Nowell Street in Chilliwack, go to chng.it/TjKgGKBk.