Law class wanted lights

SURREY – Law class students at L.A. Matheson Secondary had petitioned Surrey city hall last September to install traffic lights at the very intersection where two young women were brutally struck down last week.


The victims, ages 20 and 19, were in serious condition in Royal Columbian Hospital after being hit Tuesday morning by a pickup truck while walking in a crosswalk in the 12200-block of 96th Avenue.


Both were thrown 15 metres, police said. Ana Brand Castellanos said her son’s high school law class had asked the city for a set of lights at the intersection in September, shortly after a sedan broke a 14-year-old boy’s leg while he was walking to school at 126th Street and 96th Avenue. Castellanos noted that three other pedestrians had also been hit, near Donegal’s Pub, while crossing 96th.


"My heart stopped," she said Wednesday, recalling her reaction when she learned of Tuesday’s crash.


"We just want lights, that’s all we want," she said. "It is a hazard. People do not stop, as you saw yesterday. We don’t want kids to suffer." Paveen Sanghera, the humanities and social studies/law study hall facilitator for L.A. Matheson, sent a letter to city hall in March requesting an update on a pedestrianactivated crosswalk at the 96th Avenue/122nd Street intersection, which had been approved by council earlier in the year. The intersection had already been added to the city’s list of to-dos for traffic signal locations and the city painted a crosswalk and put up a crosswalk sign, but to date no traffic lights have been erected.


"We at L.A. Matheson are growing concerned about this partially completed project as it gives students and residents of the community a false sense of security while crossing such a busy road," Sanghera wrote the city.


Prophetically, he noted is his March letter that "we’ve noticed the crosswalk being used, but cars are failing to stop even while people are halfway through the crosswalk."


In response to Sanghera’s letter, Akhshid Rezazadah, a traffic engineering assistant for the City of Surrey, wrote that the city is "still on track" for designing the traffic signal this year and construction will begin in 2015 as part of a larger capital program.