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How a little Ladner girl got a safer crosswalk

The six-year-old gathered signatures through a door knocking campaign.
Delta girl crosswalk petition
Arianne Dielman made headlines after petitioning the City of Delta to create a crosswalk near a Ladner park. Photo by Cameron Thomson/Delta Optimist

Arianne Dielman’s petition for a safer crossing has been successful.

Council last week discussed the city’s decision to undertake upgrades to additional crosswalks for the annual crosswalks and signal improvements program, including the one at Central Avenue at Lions Park, Arthur Drive north of 47th Avenue and Arthur Drive at 45th Avenue.

The crosswalk improvements will include overhead illuminated signs with overhead and side mounted flashing beacons, new pushbuttons, replacement and addition of LED street lights, minor civil construction works and pavement markings.

Last month Dielman, 6, sent a letter to council and gathered a petition with the signatures of 30 local residents asking for a safer crossing between the entrance to Lions Park and Central Avenue.

“Lots of people cross there and it is a busy road and it is hard to see around the corner,” Arianne’s handwritten letter read.

She told the Optimist that she set her sights on the initiative after her brother Westley was almost struck by a vehicle while attempting to make the crossing.

“It made me feel scared and made me want to do the petition,” she said. “I felt more and more that we needed a crosswalk.”

Another letter, which accompanied Arianne’s letter and petition to council, was written by her mother Carmelle. She wrote that as her daughter collected signatures, while others recounted times when they narrowly avoided being hit while trying to cross the same road.

The city will send Arianne a letter thanking her for her efforts.

According to Delta’s engineering department, the city’s crosswalks and signal improvements program has included the addition of pedestrian activated flashers at crosswalks to improve overall safety. 

Over the last five years, there have been 26 new pedestrian activated flashers installed at crosswalks to meet the increased demand.