MICHAELS: Three hour nightmare on local roads highlights need for change

Bridge travelling folk deserve a decent commute

For thousands of the Okanagan’s bridge travelling folk, Tuesday’s commute came with a two- to three-hour bonus.

Two fender benders, is what police chalked this time kill up to. Then they reminded motorists to pay attention when they’re driving.

This, of course, is sound advice. Please, people, when you’re driving, pay attention.

Of course, we as humans aren’t perfect and crashes happen — usually when they’re least convenient.

So the lingering question really is why this incident tacked hours onto the commute? Last week when a pole went down onto Abbott Street and blocked a lane of traffic it added around 45 minutes to the commute. It was almost understandable, albeit annoying. But three hours for a crash where all involved exited their cars and awaited help? That seems a bit much.

It’s absurd and someone at the controls needs to acknowledge there was a bungle that went beyond bad driving during Tuesday’s commute and make sure it doesn’t happen again.

READ MORE: MAJOR DELAYS ON HIGHWAY

The Canadian Automobile Association recently released a report that highlighted the effects of traffic jams for those who can’t apply basic reason to situations of this kind.

“Traffic congestion impacts both the quality of life for individuals and the overall economy. Motorists and passengers give up productive work hours, and precious personal and family time,” reads the report. “When trucks are stuck in traffic, the goods they are moving become more costly to businesses and consumers. The lost productivity from delayed passenger trips and freight deliveries harms regional and national economic competitiveness. Along with delays, congestion increases fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Vehicles idling in traffic consume far more fuel than they otherwise would. And by extension, vehicles emit more greenhouse gases in congested conditions.”

In short, it’s bad for the environment, our morale and our pocketbooks.

So get with it powers that be. It’s time to see some energy expended in this area.

I’d advocate for better transit, and a swift end to car culture, but a co-worker said that her bus-commute was three hours from West Kelowna so it will be hard to get people to get aboard that environmentally-friendly train just yet.

How about just instituting some quick action scene clean up? Some traffic control? Some sensible reaction to non-sensible traffic acts.

People have things to do, places to see and they deserve to have systems in place to allow them to do it.

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