Alex Fraser cheaters tie Annacis in knots

Road rage, congestion 'intolerable' on island, say petitioners who are demanding action

Fury Road might be a better name for Cliveden Avenue on Annacis Island.

Workers on the Island say they can no longer cope with growing road rage incidents there and crazy congestion.

It’s all because of traffic cheaters who use the island to cut around the southbound lineup to cross the Alex Fraser Bridge.

Every afternoon rush they stream down the Annacis off ramp from the Highway 91 Connector onto Cliveden where they use business parking lots to make a quick U-turn and head back up onto the bridge.

The brief foray onto Annacis saves those drivers time by bypassing much of the bridge wait but island workers and business managers say their commutes have become intolerable as the shortcutters flood Cliveden and box them in.

“Alex Fraser commuters who shortcut onto Annacis Island from the Connector are aggressive and threatening when they cross over the double yellow line to cut into the business parking lots and then push their way into the traffic getting off the island,” Nadia Mudge wrote on change.org, where a petition demands authorities fix the traffic nightmare. “Please do something to stop this. It’s a dangerous situation,” she said, adding there have been accidents and near-accidents.

“This happens every night and leads to massive congestion and road rage,” Jeff Larsen said.

Susan Alsop, another Annacis worker, said it takes her more than an hour just to get off the island.

“Since the Port Mann was tolled the congestion on this route has become insufferable,” she wrote. “And now hearing the plans for the Massey Tunnel replacement it will only get worse.”

Petitioners suggest median barriers be installed along Cliveden to block left turns and make the route less advantageous.

Delta Mayor Lois Jackson said she’s called a meeting of her senior staff to explore options like that.

She said another possibility is to post no left left turns on the problem stretch of Cliveden, coupled with police enforcement of the ban.

“You’ve got people on Annacis who just want to get home and you’ve got others that are just short cutting the circuit and not waiting their turn and really don’t have a lot of business there but to short cut.”

Jackson said she’s not yet sure if Delta can act alone or if the transportation ministry needs to be involved.

She agreed the problem appears to have worsened.

“It doesn’t help that some increase in traffic is due to avoidance of tolls,” Jackson said.

Meanwhile, traffic is about to get much worse across the river in downtown New Westminster.

That city will close Front Street for five months starting Feb. 1 to redevelop the Front Street Parkade, redirecting trucks from their normal route onto other streets.

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