Nearly four months after a Smithers resident was struck at Hwy 16 by a truck turning off Main Street onto the highway, the town is getting some much-welcomed upgrades to a number of electric crosswalk signals.
Deputy mayor Gladys Atrill said she was recently informed by Carl Lutz, the district manager of transportation for Bulkley/Stikine that a number of new crosswalk lights with countdown timers would be installed at key points in the town, including the intersection at Hwy 16 and Queen, Main and King Streets.
Atrill said the upgrades are “fantastic news” and something the Town has been hearing as a common concern from residents for quite some time.
“There was concern for folks that have difficulty crossing in the short period of time that’s sometimes available to cross the highway and having the time to signal a countdown timer is going to just provide that little bit of extra confidence for people [to] know exactly how much time they’ve got to get across,” Atrill explained.
“It’s great news and [we’re] super grateful to the folks at highways for making this happen.”
Atrill added council was actually able to meet with the minister of Transportation and Infrastructure at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) convention.
“I had an opportunity to say thank you to the ministry and to, you know, kind of put a plug in for other projects that we’d like,” said Atrill.
She also pointed to the hard work of local volunteers of groups such as Access Smithers in pointing out issues such as the lack of countdown timers at crosswalks in the town.
“Sometimes it seems like things take a long time, but when we actually get a result that’s going to improve the situation on the ground, [you] gotta say thank you.”