In April 2016, a delegation led by Mayor Lois E. Jackson and Delta's Chief Administrative Officer, George V. Harvie, met with The Honourable Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, regarding the proposed pedestrian and cycling overpass at Highway 17 and 52 Street. After commissioning a report on the issue, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure determined that the construction of the new pedestrian and cyclist overpass could not be justified. Mayor Jackson, Delta Council and staff strongly disagree with the results of the Provincial study.
In the report, the Ministry cited three other locations in the lower mainland that are considered to be comparable to the Highway 17 and 52 Street intersection. These intersections are (i) Harris Road and Lougheed Highway, (ii) Schoolhouse Street and Lougheed Highway, and (iii) Willingdon Avenue and Nelson Avenue/Kingsway. Unfortunately, these comparisons undervalue significant differences between the intersections. For example, Highway 17 is a limited access highway with freeway vehicle speeds at 80 km/h. The crosswalk at the intersection is also far longer than the referenced crosswalks, which range from 27 metres to 33 metres.
Despite the Ministry determining that there is no significant benefit to an overpass, Delta continues to believe that an overpass is critical for the safety of pedestrians and drivers alike.
Delta’s Engineering Department outlined the following concerns with the current pedestrian crossing layout:
- The crosswalk is long, measuring 40 metres;
- The crosswalk traverses seven lanes of traffic and two additional turning lanes beyond the pedestrian refuge island; and
- During busy times, the refuge island is beyond capacity, creating a potentially dangerous situation for drivers and pedestrians.
Not only does the present crossing arrangement cause significant safety concerns, it also impacts accessibility and will limit the effectiveness of the intersection for vehicle traffic.
In addition to Tsawwassen Mills, and the soon to be open Tsawwassen Commons, there are 100 acres of industrial land in Phase 1 and 200 acres of industrial land in Phase 2; all within the Tsawwassen First Nations Land. Therefore, pedestrian safety and accessibility of the intersection are of increasing importance. Delta has recommended that the Province commit to conducting ongoing traffic operation and safety reviews at this location and report back with the findings.
Mayor Lois E. Jackson and Delta Council will continue to advocate for a multi-use overpass at this site.
View the staff report and associated documents.
View the video presented to Minister Stone outlining Delta’s concerns and need for an overpass.