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Brentwood intersection to get safety improvements

A section of Beta Avenue next to Brentwood mall will soon see safety improvements after a cyclist was struck and killed by a vehicle there last month.

The 62-year-old Burnaby man was killed May 6 at the intersection of Beta and Brentwood Drive. While plans were already in the works to make changes at the intersection in conjunction with the redevelopment of Brentwood mall, the incident "helped make it a higher priority," said Doug Louie, Burnaby's assistant director of engineering for transportation services.

A special pedestrian crosswalk will be installed at the north edge of the Beta Avenue driveway into the mall parking lot, Louie said. It will include curb bulges to narrow the street, pedestrian-activated amber lights, possibly on the sides of the road, and a reduction in the speed limit from the current 50 km/h.

Existing overhead flashing amber lights that warn motorists to slow down for the traffic signal down the steep hill at Lougheed Highway will likely be moved to the south edge of the mall driveway, he said.

The problems at that location are complex, with a combination of pedestrians, motorists, a steep hill, a driveway and a housing development, Brentwood Gate, across the street, all within 50 metres of Lougheed.

"It's not a great place to put a marked crosswalk," he said. "But if we're going to put a marked crosswalk you have to make it special because of the unusual circumstances."

The cost of the work will be shared between Burnaby city hall and mall owner Shape Properties. It's expected to be complete by the end of the summer.

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