Letter: Crossing Richmond Street now requires prayer. So let's fix it


I have written to (the City of New Westminster) on a few occasions and called two or three times to make a complaint about the intersection of Richmond Street and Miner Street. It needs a crosswalk, yellow lines painted on the road, a speed bump, rumble strips, a light post with a flashing sign overhead - something to alert drivers driving up and down Richmond Street that there is a speed limit, visibility is limited by cars and pedestrians entering the intersection from Miner Street, and to slow down.

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This neighbourhood is fairly quiet, the condo residents’ average age is 45-plus and the single-family homes are seeing more young families move in.

There are also countless dog walkers diverse in age and mobility, and more recently young families that need to be able to safely cross from Miner Street over Richmond Street. In recent years, the secret of Richmond Street as a spillway to other routes on this side of the city has increased. I get it, as a commuter I look for them, too.

However, this intersection is dangerous for the many people who cross it by foot or by car (especially from the west side of Miner) turning left, right or going straight through – it’s a gamble, requires a prayer and a good tromp on the gas pedal.

Sure, it may not be a high-collision area per ICBC statistics, but I say to you be proactive and preventative and trust that the many near-misses have been by the seat of someone’s pants and whatever higher power they’ve engaged.

I live on the southwest corner of this intersection and daily I hear cars honking at pedestrians or cars entering into this intersection. In fact, on June 6, 2019 at approximately 12:50 p.m., I was crossing the intersection (eastbound on Miner) to make my way to the SkyTrain station and a jacked-up truck came racing up Richmond and was not showing any signs of slowing down. As we were in the middle of the road, it was like an intimidation tactic or a chance at chicken with two pedestrians. In fact, he actually sped up a little when he saw us, as if to say, “I’m bigger than you”. True story. It happens more often than not.

Cars coming down Richmond from Cumberland are travelling too fast and don’t see the tiny, little yellow sign on the right side of the road attached to the light post that states 30 km/h a very short distance before this intersection. Cars coming up Richmond from Columbia Street don’t even have a sign displaying a speed limit as they approach the Richmond and Miner intersection, and when they see the slight bend ahead of them and the continued incline it’s an invitation to accelerate to give the engine more power.

This is a high-traffic area. It’s on a bus route. There is a business in the area that requires very large rigs to deliver supplies. Richmond Street is controlled by a traffic light at the bottom at Columbia, and a four-way stop sign at the top at Cumberland. It has parked cars on both sides of the road, which by the way have no signs at the corners of Richmond and Miner to say no parking X number of feet from the corner, hence there are many occasions that parked cars are butting right up to the street corner which makes visibility and accessibility even more difficult and risky.

I understand from a neighbour that some “city guys” were recently looking at the street in the front of the Pen building, where TransLink stops. He was told they were looking at the area for a possible crosswalk in that location. What? That is not the proper area for a crosswalk. With the speed at which cars travel up and down this road, the intersection at Richmond and Miner is the section of road that needs to be addressed for safe foot and car access, and the rest of Richmond Street will be the better for it.

C. Balanko, New Westminster

For more details on what the city is doing on Richmond Street, read here.


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