Crosswalk installed in Delta after young girl's successful petition

·2 min read
Seven-year-old Delta resident Arianne Dieleman is seen smiling near a crosswalk that she petitioned for across Central Avenue. (Submitted by Carmelle Dieleman - image credit)
Seven-year-old Delta resident Arianne Dieleman is seen smiling near a crosswalk that she petitioned for across Central Avenue. (Submitted by Carmelle Dieleman - image credit)

A new crosswalk has been installed across Central Avenue in Delta, B.C., after a successful petition by seven-year-old resident Arianne Dieleman.

Arianne had proposed the crosswalk back in November 2020 when she was six years old, saying her brother Wesley had almost been hit crossing the road on their way to and from school.

The City of Delta expedited Arianne's petition through a staff committee and approved the crosswalk in the 2021 budget. It was recently installed across the busy thoroughfare at the end of the pathway at Lions Park.

A curve in the road can make it difficult to see oncoming traffic, which is why the new crosswalk features raised sidewalks and flashing safety lights.

"It feels like I'm able to do more things easier because it was pretty hard for me to do it," Arianne told CBC News.

"My mom feels proud. My siblings don't really care. And my dad's pretty happy."

Carmelle Dieleman, the young girl's mother, said Arianne went door-to-door seeking signatures after her grandmother suggested the petition.

City of Delta
City of Delta

She said Arianne's success should be a great confidence boost for her and any child looking to make a change.

"I didn't expect it to happen as fast as it did," Carmelle said.

"I think I expected painted lines on the road, but the city really went all out and it's a great crosswalk."

Submitted by Carmelle Dieleman
Submitted by Carmelle Dieleman

Delta Councillor Dylan Kruger said the need for a crosswalk was "significant," and praised Arianne for her interest in municipal politics.

"To see a young person aged six or seven caring about the future of her community … it gives me a lot of faith for the next generation," he said.

Kruger said he had already told Arianne to join the Delta mayor's youth council when she turns 13 and is eligible.

"And of course, I look forward to 20 to 30 years from now voting for Arianne for mayor of Delta as well," he said, laughing.

For Arianne's part, she's looking beyond local politics to a transnational issue — climate change.

"I was kind of thinking of something to help stop global warming because it's not good for the Earth," she said.

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