Despite city’s recent improvement, Richmond residents still worry about ‘problem intersection’

Local cycling advocate has raised concerns with city hall about busy intersection of Lansdowne and Garden City Road

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Byline: Shashi Goel

Despite recent changes by city hall, a particularly tricky intersection in Richmond is creating confusion and fear for pedestrians, drivers and cyclists.

Richmond Resident Lawrence Ho said he has been driving for a long time, but has never seen an intersection like Garden City Road and Lansdowne Road.

“It’s not like a normal intersection… The City of Richmond can redesign it.” – Richmond resident Lawrence Ho

The busy intersection has an advance turn signal, but drivers are supposed to yield to pedestrians, a configuration Ho said is dangerous and unusual. If a driver sees the turn signal, but not the yield sign, there could be a “high potential” of a collision, Ho said.

“It’s not like a normal intersection,” said Ho. “The City of Richmond can redesign it.”

Donna Kwan, co-chair of HUB Cycling, called it a “problem intersection.”

Kwan said the walk signal is too short, and it’s difficult for pedestrians to get all the way across the intersection in the time allotted.

There is a sign instructing cars to yield to pedestrians, Kwan said, but it “seems to be ignored by the cars and they encroach as close to the crosswalk without being on top of it.”

The city made improvements early last year to the Landsdowne and Gardent City intersection, said Richmond spokesperson Kim Decker. City hall removed the previous southbound right-turn lane, Decker said, which “increases safety for pedestrians and cyclists as it slows right-turn traffic at the intersection.”

The upgrades also sought to improve bike safety, Decker said, by relocating the southbound bike lane to separate it from traffic behind a curb, and by installing a series of vertical panels called “delineators” along Garden City Road.

“This style of delineator is utilized by a number of municipalities to provide separation from vehicle traffic, however, some cyclists may not consider delineators as safe as a continuous curb or barrier,” Decker said. “The City is currently trialling delineators in a few locations to determine public perception and long-term aspects.”

But even after the recent upgrades to the intersection, drivers, pedestrians and cyclists believe the city should do more to improve safety here. Kwan, the cycling advocate, has reached out to contacts at city hall to encourage them to consider changes, including giving the pedestrians more time to cross the street and painting more lines on the road.

Another Richmond resident, Tejinder Lamba said he was rear-ended at this intersection and believes “the city can do better for signaling for safety.”

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