Unsworth light delay out of city hands: councillor

The traffic light installation delay at Unsworth Road and Keith Wilson Road is not the city’s fault, says city Coun. Stewart McLean.

The traffic light installation delay at Unsworth Road and Keith Wilson Road is not the city’s fault, says city Coun. Stewart McLean.

In a phone interview with The Progress, McLean said he understood the growing frustration from parents with children attending Unsworth elementary who have been requesting a traffic light installed at the intersection for years. But the city’s hands are tied, he said.

City council approved a traffic light installation at the intersection in the spring, and city officials sent a letter to the school shortly after indicating the installation would take place during the summer or early fall months.

Last month The Progress learned the project had been delayed due to the city requiring extra land on Keith Wilson Road in order to widen the road for sidewalks, curbs and gutters to be installed with the light.

The city is still in negotiations with property owners for the land acquisition.

“In order to put the light and sidewalk in that’s needed there at that intersection, we needed to acquire a small strip of property which we don’t own,” said McLean, chair of the city’s transportation committee.

“That’s been the hold up. It’s not the city holding it up. Until we can finalize the bits of property we need, we can’t go ahead with the project.”

Still, the installation, along with three other traffic light installations approved for this year, have all gone out to tender, “so that we will be ready to go with the work that needs to be done as soon as we have that land acquisition sorted out,” said McLean.

“We’re trying to get it done as soon as possible, we know the issues there … but it’s hard for some people to understand that we can’t just go and plunk a light in there. It’s more complicated than that.”

City officials told The Progress last month construction likely wouldn’t start until well past winter.

Parent Jocelyn Holden, president of Unsworth elementary’s Parents’ Advisory Council, is concerned the project will be scrapped if a new council is elected come November.

Holden has been leading the fight for a light at the intersection since 2008.

Because the intersection is congested with traffic before and after school, and because many vehicles exceed the posted 50 km/h speed limit, parents believe the current marked crosswalk at the intersection is unsafe for students to cross.

Despite those concerns, though, Holden said they have faced repeated bureaucratic obstacles.

“My concern now is that it’s an election year and if we get a new council, and that money isn’t spent by the time they take office, are they not able to re-prioritize it,” asked Holden. “So many things can change.

“I’m getting to the point where I just don’t have any energy left to deal with them.”

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Just Posted

Judge to decide on mental fitness of man accused of Chilliwack River Valley shooting

Two psychiatrists disagree on fitness of Peter Kampos but Crown and defence agree he is unfit

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

BC Ferries passengers wait to leave Vancouver Island after Remembrance Day

Traffic aboard BC Ferries slows after Remembrance Day long weekend

Chilliwack Mayor Ken Popove on the first 100 days

One-on-one discussion with the new mayor paints a picture of what’s in store for Chilliwack

UPDATE: Man, 19, dies in shooting on Ross Road in Abbotsford

Victim was airlifted to hospital Monday afternoon, but died shortly afterwards

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Vancouver man must pay $22,000 after breaking strata rules

Peter Gordon took his fight over his rented condo to the civil resolution tribunal, but lost

Most Read