COQUITLAM, B.C., March 24, 2021 – Coquitlam has installed its first touchless pedestrian crossing buttons at seven intersections along the City Centre SkyTrain corridor – a new measure to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus and other germs.
Coquitlam is among the first cities in Metro Vancouver to implement the new technology, which allows pedestrians to activate a walk signal by either waving a hand one to four inches away or pressing a button.
Successful Pilot Leads to New Standard
Over the next couple of years, the City will install the touchless buttons at all intersections in high pedestrian areas such as the Town Centre, Austin Heights, and Burquitlam.
To test out the technology, the City installed a total of 48 buttons in late January and early February at seven intersections used heavily by SkyTrain riders and other pedestrians: Guildford Way/Westwood Street and along Pinetree Way at Guildford Way, Glen Drive, Northern Avenue, Lincoln Avenue, Anson Avenue and Barnet/Lougheed Highway.
The units – which include instructional signs and can be activated by a wave one to four inches away – passed the tests for ease of use and public acceptance. The pilot project also gave staff a chance to make technical modifications and establish installation procedures for a smooth rollout at other sites.
Planning for Other Locations
As part of its 2022 planning process, Coquitlam is now considering additional existing pedestrian crossings in City Centre and other community and transit hubs that may warrant being retrofitted with touchless technology.
The units cost $11,000 for materials and labour to install at an intersection with four crossings. The typical piezoelectric push buttons will continue to be the standard at intersections and crosswalks where foot traffic is not sufficient to justify the investment. Visit www.coquitlam.ca/pedestrian for info on this and other programs to improve the safety and environment for pedestrians.
Traffic Systems Specialist
City of Coquitlam