The City of Surrey has two new traffic lights in the 15600-block of 32 Avenue.
The first light eastbound is at the intersection on 156A Street, the second about 100 metres further east at the entrance to a cemetery south of 32 Avenue. There is no exit on the north side at this point.
I use 32 Avenue on a daily basis and, since this light was erected about two months ago, I have not seen any vehicle leave or enter the cemetery. As the cemetery is private property, there would be an assumption that the traffic light is not even at an actual intersection, but the Motor Vehicle Act defines the entrance as a highway as the public has legal access and hence an intersection. However, the traffic light provides no advantage for traffic entering the cemetery. Traffic leaving the cemetery has the option of turning right or left onto 32 Avenue; traffic attempting to turn left on the red light will trip the light and activate a red light for all traffic on 32 Avenue. This part of 32 Avenue, particularly in rush hour, has a high volume of traffic with lineups to the next intersection at 160 Street.
The cemetery property, Gardens of Gethsemani, consists of two small cemeteries and a chapel, and it would appear questionable that an extra traffic light would be required on 32 Avenue, considering the small volume of traffic entering or leaving the cemetery, particularly when there is a viable option of having a right-turn-only sign on 32 Avenue that would not further impede the traffic flow.
This situation is similar to a story that happened down home in a small town in Newfoundland.
The townspeople wanted a traffic light as the next town had one. The mayor of the town applied to the proper authorities for a traffic light. They replied that they would have to do a study and get back to him.
The mayor was later contacted by the authorities and advised they did not qualify for a traffic light. Asked the reason, the reply was “because you don’t have an intersection.”
Bill Parrott, Surrey