Calls for safety improvements to a busy South Surrey intersection have been answered, with installation of a median at 40 Avenue and 176 Street.
The new median prevents travellers on 40 Avenue from crossing the highway or making a left turn onto the busy road. The intersection still allows motorists travelling along Highway 15 (176 Street) to turn left onto 40 Avenue.
Surrey South MLA Stephanie Cadieux, who began advocating for safety improvements – both publicly and behind the scenes – following a fatal collision in September, 2019, described the process as “somewhat frustrating,” but indicated she was pleased with the result.
“The first thing I did was write to the minister and sort of highlight the challenges at that point, the tragedy that happened, and that accidents are happening there fairly frequently,” Cadieux said Monday (April 19).
“Traffic has gotten significantly heavier in this part of the world over the last number of years,” she noted.
According to statistics from ICBC, from 2013-2017, there were 63 crashes at 40 Avenue and Highway 15. Of those, 31 resulted in death or injury.
“I live near this intersection and have seen the aftermath of many accidents there, some of which have resulted in gruesome fatalities,“ Avtar Singh Longiye wrote on the PAN’s Facebook page shortly after the 2019 collision that killed a young male driver.
Another resident described trying to turn north onto 176 Street from 40 Avenue as “like a death trap.”
— Stephanie Cadieux (@Stephanie4BC) April 19, 2021
While South Surrey residents offered a number of recommendations on social media as to what the government should do to improve the intersection, such as installing a traffic light, Cadieux said the median “makes sense.”
“The median is in place and that’s the most important thing. Hopefully drivers are getting used to it and making changes to their routes if necessary.”
“The intersection is now safer and hopefully that’s going to save some lives,” she said.
Larry Pederson, who lives near the intersection, said he is happy that a median has been installed.
“They’ve done an excellent job,” he said.
However, Pederson said, he has observed a number of people turning left onto 176 Street – driving in the oncoming lanes on the left side of the road for a short distance – as a way to circumvent the new median.
“You wouldn’t believe it,” Pederson said from his porch on Monday.
According to the Ministry of Transportation, the project was done in collaboration with the City of Surrey. The intersection also received new pavement markings, signage and the light poles were relocated.
The budget for the safety improvements was approximately $493,000.
– files from Tracy Holmes