West Kelowna discusses left turn signals at Highway 97 intersections

West Kelowna council was shown crash statistics at various intersections along Highway 97 during Tuesday's council meeting.

Turning left through West Kelowna’s Highway 97 corridor can be risky business.

The District of West Kelowna learned exactly how risky that business can be during Tuesday’s council meeting.

Shawn Grant, acting regional manager with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, showed council the crash statistics at various intersections on the Westside.

From 2007 to 2011, 43 crashes occurred at the intersection of Butt Road and Highway 97—11 of which were left turn related.

In the same time period, 43 crashes occurred at the intersection of Westlake Road/Hudson Road and Highway 97—19 of those happened while a left turn was being made.

The Gellatly Road/Gosset Road and Highway 97 intersection had 35 crashes, 26 of which were left turn related.

The intersection of Bartley Road and Highway 97 had 26 crashes. Fifteen of those were left turn related.

At Daimler Road and Highway 97 there were 25 crashes—10 were left turn related.

Finally, Grant explained that Ross Road and Highway 97 had 22 crashes, 14 of which were left turn related.

Four of the left turn related crashes ended up being fatal.

“It’s unfortunate that we have to use crash and injury and death statistics to get these kinds of things going, or at least to put them into perspective,” said Coun. Bryden Winsby.

Winsby, along with other councillors, inquired about being “proactive” and putting left turn signals in at all necessary intersections.

But, according to Grant, if there are too many left turn signal lights, it may disrupt the flow of traffic along the highway.

“To put arrows at all intersections, all directions, it would be a long, excessive delay on Highway 97, which can also translate into safety issues too,” said Grant.

Mayor Doug Findlater said that West Kelowna may have to look into slowing down Highway 97 traffic by “looking at it as more of a Harvey Avenue south of the bridge as opposed to a highway.”

“It’s not (something) that I think will be universally popular with the public, but with regard to Highway 97 from the bridge to Westbank, we may need to have a change in philosophy. That may involve lowering the speed limit,” said Findlater.

Grant said that speed limits are always a hot topic; however, lowering the speed limits may not change driver behaviour because “people drive what they feel comfortable.”

“The best speed limit out there is one that doesn’t require excessive enforcement, it’s sort of self-regulating,” said Grant.

“If you look at the characteristic of road from Boucherie to Gellatly, it’s a really good road. . .where as you look at Harvey, you have a lot of driveways and a lot of side road friction, which really dictates a slower speed limit because of the road characteristic.”

Council decided to refer the item to staff to provide a report to council relating to priorities and financial implications.

This issue is likely to be brought back to council at its next meeting, on April, 10.


Just Posted

Big White to send off Olympians in style

Okanagan ski resort picked as location for official send-off of Canada’s 2018 Winter Olympic team

Flames ruin birthday in Lake Country

Fire crews were called to a home in Lake Country, Sunday night

Kelowna airport hosts accessibility event

Canucks Autism Network event brings families together to help deal with air travel

B.C.’s minimum wage in the spotlight in Kelowna Tuesday

The Fair Wages Commission will hold a hearing to gather public input

Dogs in the classroom

Therapy dogs help young students learn in the Okanagan

Heavy snowfall expected on Coquihalla

Snow forecast for mountain highways

ICBC overbilling for crash repairs not the problem, dealers say

Collision repair shops reject union claim of inflated costs

Last day for shoeboxes at Kelowna Gospel Fellowship

Kelowna church has been gathering gifts for kids in need in countries around the world

B.C. sport groups to address child sex abuse in sports

viaSport is organizing a full day of education in association with Canadian Centre for Child Protection and the Coaching Association of Canada.

Report sets exercise guidelines for young kids, including ‘tummy time’ for babies

Kids aged one to four should get at least three hours of physical activity throughout the day

Stampeders return to Grey Cup with 32-28 win over Edmonton Eskimos

The Stampeders will face the Toronto Argonauts next Sunday in Ottawa for the title

Traxxas Monster Truck Tour to roll into Kelowna

Monster Trucks at Prospera Place on Jan. 13-14, 2018.

Nebraska approves TransCanada’s Keystone XL pipeline

Nebraska’s Public Service Commission approved TransCanada’s Keystone XL route in a close vote

Hard of Hearing group to lobby for better services

Kelowna group says public buildings in Kelowna and the Okanagan should be better equipped

Most Read