Council approves safety upgrades to Abbotsford crosswalks

A total of 20 crossings set to receive improvements over the coming years.

Council enthusiastically approved a plan Monday that will see 20 crosswalks around Abbotsford upgraded over the next few years.

Last week, the city’s transportation advisory committee received a 147-name petition calling for a flashing light to be installed at a crosswalk at South Fraser Way and Pauline Street where numerous “near-misses” had been documented. At the same meeting, staff revealed a proposal to improve 20 crossings around the city, including at South Fraser Way and Pauline Street.

The first slate of 12 crosswalk improvements will also see an upgrade to a Trethewey Street crossing where a 74-year-old man was struck last November. For more on the locations, visit www.abbynews.com.

The city will pay for the upgrades by using money that had previously been allocated for pavement resurfacing. A recent consultants report found that the city’s roads are in better-than-expected condition, resulting in annual savings of $1 million.

Mayor Henry Braun said the work was overdue.

“We need to catch up,” he said.

Couns. Ross Siemens and Sandy Blue suggested that an education program to discourage jaywalking and encourage the use of crosswalks.

“Some of our elderly residents tend to take the path of least resistance,” Siemens said.

– with files from Dan Ferguson