Evergreen Line Progress Means Pedestrian Crosswalk Changes

May 5, 2014

Head’s up Coquitlam walkers (and drivers)! There’s a new pedestrian crosswalk on the Barnet Highway (just after the Lougheed/Barnet intersection) as a result of continuing work on the Evergreen Rapid Transit Line. Sidewalk closures and detours will be implemented next to active construction sites on Pinetree Way between the Coquitlam transit exchange and Town Centre Boulevard for the safety of pedestrians. These closures and detours will be in place until the spring of 2015. What does this mean to you? It means that you need to be extra cautious as you use this stretch of road, because you might have to stop where you used to go. If you travel this route frequently, you might have conditioned yourself to the old traffic pattern, making you less prepared to stop at the new crossing. The BC RCMP are also out to enforce this area, so please pay attention. This is...

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Why is Line Painting a Challenge on the Coquihalla?

April 30, 2014

Spring has sprung (sorta) across B.C., which means our maintenance contractors are out on our highways, shifting from winter maintenance to warmer weather activities like sweeping, paving, mowing and brushing. Our line marking contractors are also gearing up for a busy season, ready to hit the highway as soon as they can. Weather is definitely a factor in getting the job done, and one of the most challenging stretches, we’re sure you can imagine, is Highway 5 aka the Coquihalla. One of the more frequent comments/questions we get in around this area is the visibility of line painting so we wanted to make sure you were in the loop on what we’re doing and some of the challenges. Winter maintenance activities, such as snow plowing and sanding, cause significant seasonal “wear and tear” (aka erosion) on lane markings. As the Coquihalla is a high elevation pass, we often see...

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8 Tips to Keep You Safe at Rail Crossings

April 28, 2014
Rail Safety Week

  April 28 to May 4 marks Rail Safety Week in Canada, and we’re using that opportunity to remind you: “See tracks? Think train!” Based on the decline in rail-related accidents in recent years, it’s a message that people are hearing. But messages about saving lives are always worth repeating to make sure they’re top-of-mind and we don’t become complacent. It all comes down to this: if you need to cross a rail line, approach it expecting to see a train and only cross when it’s safe. With that thought in mind, let’s look at some related tips our friends at Operation Lifesaver  put together to keep you safe at rail crossings: Never drive around lowered gates – it’s illegal and deadly. If you suspect a signal is malfunctioning, call the 1-800 number posted on or near the crossing signal or your local emergency number. Never race a train...

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Making Room for Wider Sidewalks on the Second Narrows Bridge

April 23, 2014
Second Narrows Bridge sidewalk

Before we can widen the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Bridge sidewalks, we have to make a little room. Last year, the ministry started looking at replacing the pedestrian railings on the bridge to improve safety for cyclists and pedestrians since the narrow sidewalks  are a major constriction for travelers. After a thorough technical review earlier this year, it was decided to widen both sidewalks from 1.2 to 2.5 metres, install a new three-metre high safety fence and convert the bridge lighting to energy efficient LED lights. All good for increased safety and promoting mobility. To do that, we must first remove the previous sidewalks before constructing the new ones. Unfortunately the signs are in the way. Specifically, the supports for the existing signs are located outside the existing sidewalks therefore the new supports will be relocated along the inside of the new sidewalk. The new sidewalk will wrap around the new...

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Why is that Cyclist in my Lane? A Question of Cycling Safety

April 22, 2014
Dont Ride Here 2

We get a lot of questions and comments about cycling safety here at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, so in our ongoing effort to improve the safety of cyclists (and other travellers), here’s another important reminder to look out for them and explain why you might see them riding in front of you as you drive. Often, there’s a bike lane or shoulder for cyclists to ride on, so they’re out of the way of traffic, and it’s easy to drive by them. But sometimes it’s not practicable for a cyclist to ride out of the way or even near the right side of the lane. There could be a number of different reasons for this, but usually it’s because the lane is too narrow to let them move over safely. Sometimes this isn’t obvious. In the picture above, for example, a car should be able to squeeze...

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7 Ways to Travel Safely this Easter Weekend

April 17, 2014
Easter Long Weekend.

Easter long weekend is here, the weather is getting nicer, and hitting the road to see family and friends is on the agenda. It’s really important you get to where you’re going safely (especially because there’s some wintery driving conditions on a few of our highways). Every year, over the Easter holiday, an average of three people are killed and 670 injured in 2,300 crashes throughout BC. That’s not good. Our friends over at the Office of the Superintendents of Motor Vehicles (OSMV) and us put together some tips to help drivers prepare for a safe road trip: Be prepared: Weather conditions can change suddenly at this time of year, especially when travelling over long distances. Check the road and weather conditions for your entire trip at drivebc.ca which features over 400 webcam views throughout the province. Get a tune-up: Remember to check the engine oil, washer fluid and...

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Malahat Safety Improvements: Round Two

April 14, 2014

It’s full steam ahead for a second round of safety improvements on the Malahat, with work expected to kick off in May and finish in the spring of 2015. Once this work is completed, over 50% of the Malahat will have median barriers.  These improvements were identified in the 2012 Malahat Corridor study, and were also identified as a priority by the Malahat Advisory Group, which includes local residents, commuters, first responders and safety advocates. Those upgrades we’re planning include: extension of the southbound passing lane and median barrier of “NASCAR Corner” (as known to locals) continuation of median barriers immediately north and south of this area. constructing U-turns on the side of the highway at either end of the new barrier, located at the side of Shawnigan Lake road and on the side of the highway north of the summit Safety of the travelling public is our number...

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