Safety improvements slated for collision-prone Sumas Prairie intersections

Car crashes have killed at least nine people in the rural Abbotsford area over the last decade

Intersections on Sumas Prairie are slated for an array of safety enhancements after a city review found more could be done to stop serious and deadly accidents at Abbotsford’s rural junctions.

The suggested changes were applauded as “fantastic” by one of the two women whose presentation to a committee in January prompted the city’s review.

In January, Camille Timmermans and Joyce Verwoerd showed the city’s Transportation Advisory Committee data that Sumas Prairie’s long, straight rural roads had been the site of more than 200 crashes since 2010. Seven people were killed during that time period along roads they called the “Sumas Prairie Speedway.” Two more people – a couple in their 20s – died this summer after a crash at Marion and Wells Line roads.

RELATED: Abbotsford residents urge change in high-crash ‘Sumas Prairie Speedway’

Since the presentation, the city’s traffic engineers have been reviewing five years of crash data and conducting safety audits at dozens of rural intersections.

This week, senior transportation engineer Gordon Botha told the committee that those reviews show some intersections need “enhancements” to make them safer.

Those improvements could include: advance warning signs, larger stop signs, improved road markings, improved lighting, identification of other hazards and “maintenance of sight lines,” according to a PowerPoint presentation at the meeting. The city will begin installing signs and markings, and will request BC Hydro improve lighting, staff say. The city will also undertake safety audits on more than 100 additional rural intersections around Abbotsford.

Verwoerd was pleased to hear the city was looking to address residents’ concerns.

“This can only be a help,” she said. “That’s very good news.”

It’s unclear which specific intersections will be getting which improvements, and which intersections have yet to be studied. The News was not present at the committee meeting, and city staff are not allowed to speak to the media. The News was not able to obtain the individual safety audits and has filed a Freedom of Information request.

A report by staff is expected to go to council by the end of the year.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
tolsen@abbynews.com


@ty_olsen
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Column: Grade school students don’t have a voice during COVID pandemic

As adults weigh pros and cons of returning kids to school, is anyone asking kids what they think?

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Chilliwack Salvation Army to give away free laundry detergent and more at drive-thru event

They will be handing out Tide detergent, toothpaste and eggs to anyone who is in need

SLIDESHOW: Chilliwack firefighters battle large blaze at Rosedale chicken barn Friday

Majority of birds saved but buildings on Castleman Road destroyed by fire

Chilliwack Fair kicks off tonight with local talent

Todd Richard and Appaloosa to hit the stage for drive-in concert at fairgrounds

VIDEO: Find Me My Furever Home – Twister at the Chilliwack SPCA

Small animals like rats are one of the first to be surrendered and last to get adopted

NHL playoffs: Canucks to meet St. Louis Blues in Round 1

Vancouver takes on defending champs beginning Wednesday

Fraser Valley Bandits fall to Edmonton in CEBL final

Bandits lose 90-73 to Stingers in Sunday’s Summer Series final

1 year since a B.C. teen died in a skate park, his family still waiting for charges

Carson Crimeni’s final moments were broadcast on social media

Simon Cowell breaks his back falling from electric bike

Incident happened at his home in California

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Fraser Valley Bandits advance to CEBL Championship Game

Bandits post comeback 76-75 win over Hamilton Honey Badgers in Saturday’s semifinal

IHIT on scene of suspicious early-morning fire on rural Mission property

Entrance to Gunn Avenue property cordoned off while investigation takes place, updates coming

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Most Read