Letters to the Editor

Letter: Something needs to be done about the traffic

Open letter to City Hall:

As a Kelowna citizen for the past five years, it has become quite obvious to me that Kelowna has a huge vehicular traffic load from approximately 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. At times, the traffic is so busy, that near gridlock occurs on our main roads such as Harvey, Enterprise Way, Springfield to name a few.

We have heard about advance green left-hand turn traffic lights that are to be installed at Harvey & Cooper and Harvey & Burtch, but that was nearly a year ago. Why is it taking so long to get this done?

As much as our civic leaders have insisted that they desire to have Kelowna more ‘green’ in regards to traffic, the number of vehicles on the road increases with each passing year. If you watch who is driving all these vehicles, it is astonishing to see [how many] of the vehicles on the road have a single passenger (the driver). Can we not do something to promote carpooling or better yet, let’s make certain areas pedestrian only? Bernard Avenue would be a good place to start. Do we really need parking on Bernard from Richter to Abbott Street? Could this not be a pedestrian mall area only?

While we’re at it, let’s stop this nonsense of not using the advance green left-hand arrow at intersections at certain times of the day. If we have an advance green traffic light, let’s use it all the time. Not using it increases the likelihood of another accident as drivers try to turn left on the amber or the red.

The abandoned CN rail corridor is a great opportunity for light-rail transit. Let’s move on that idea and while we’re at it, let’s kick the second crossing (bypass) over Okanagan Lake into high gear. Does waiting another 10 to 12 years really seem like the right thing to do given the volume of traffic we see today on the existing Bennett Bridge?

Cracking down on the speed at which many drivers travel in Kelowna would also be a good measure. Every day a majority of vehicles exceed the posted speed limit by 20 to 30 kms on our main thoroughfares. How about really using our red-light cameras to enforce the law with regards to red-light runners.

Pedestrian traffic rules and safety—that’s another glaring deficiency as I find most drivers do not wait till the pedestrian is out of the crosswalk before roaring behind them when they are halfway across the crosswalk. That’s if they decide to even stop or slow down.

I love Kelowna and am so grateful to be living in our wonderful city. But please, please, let’s make a difference, a real difference, in the traffic situation and drivers’ bad behaviours before it creates more vehicle accidents, injuries and deaths.

Duane Tempel

Kelowna

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