Port Moody council approves crosswalk at intersection where boy was struck by car

Calls for improvements to dangerous Port Moody crosswalk
WATCH: Local businesses in Port Moody are renewing their calls for change to a dangerous crosswalk after a child was struck by a vehicle. Nadia Stewart reports.

Port Moody city council has voted to fast-track a pedestrian signal crossing at a dangerous intersection where a child was struck last week, with the goal of installing it this year.

Safety concerns around the area near Clarke and Elgin streets have peaked since the seven-year-old boy was hit by a car Monday while crossing mid-block to get to a Taewkondo class.

The Taewkondo studio owner and other businesses say with no marked crossing, parents and children are constantly running through traffic to get to the other side of the street.

READ MORE: ‘All I want is a crosswalk’: B.C. business owner pleads with city after 7-year-old boy hit

The crossing was approved at an emergency meeting held Saturday at the request of Mayor Rob Vagramov, who issued a memo to council on Tuesday to address dangerous intersections beyond Clarke and Elgin.

“The evening of Jan. 20, 2020 brought about a chilling reminder of the need for accelerated action on this front, and highlighted the importance of constant action and vigilance in the area of pedestrian safety,” the mayor wrote.

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Two other intersections — Saint Johns and Queens street, as well as Clarke Road and Seaview Drive — were also singled out as “pedestrian hotspots” in Vagramov’s memo.

READ MORE: 12-year-old boy in critical condition after being hit by suspected drunk driver in Langley

Similar signals at those other intersections must also be accelerated, the memo states, but no timeline has been given for those installations.

The mayor called out a “prolonged period of inactivity” in acting on past council motions and a “failure of prioritization of pedestrian crosswalk construction.”

“These intersections are known in the community as pedestrian hot spots, areas where there is significant public concern that ‘it is only a matter of time’ before an unfortunate incident occurs,” Vagramov writes.

The memo includes a recommendation that staff report back to council on a quarterly basis on council motions that have not been acted on, citing previous motions for crosswalks that were not followed through.

READ MORE: Vancouver police confirm first pedestrian fatality of 2020

It also directs staff to develop an updated master transportation plan for the city that includes updated cost estimates and impact on postponed projects the expedited crossings will create.

Police say the boy attempted to cross Clarke Street after getting out of his parents’ vehicle, when a westbound vehicle made contact with the boy as he was crossing.

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Police say the boy suffered non-life threatening facial injuries.

The driver remained on scene and police say poor visibility and weather did contribute to the incident.

— With files from Emily Lazatin