Danger lanes on Highway 97 through Kelowna

I have a complaint about the throughway lane for emergency vehicle use—there isn’t any.

To the editor:

I have a complaint about the throughway lane for emergency vehicle use—there isn’t any. There used to be a center lane that went from Highway 33 to the Okanagan Lake Bridge. This lane was used for left turning vehicles and emergency vehicle use to get firetrucks, ambulances, etc. to their destinations without disrupting traffic and in a very timely manner as there weren’t many obstructions.

Then somebody in their infinite wisdom decided that the center lane would be more beneficial as a flower garden and to install the lights for the highway in the center instead of on the side of the highway. This existed for quite some time and then somebody else decided to move the street lighting back to the side of the highway (where it belongs) but the flower gardens remained.

I have not made the trip to KGH via Highway 97 in an ambulance and I shudder to think of the many people who have. It’s a pretty scary journey, I would say. I hope and pray that nobody I know has to ever endure that ride because they may not make it alive if it’s a life or death situation.

I think that flower gardens belong on the roadsides not in the center of the highway. I would rather have a lane that would be available 24/7 for any emergency vehicle that needed it. It worked well when it was first implemented and I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work just as well now as it did then.

Perhaps we need more public input before these changes are implemented.

Dawn Gibson, Kelowna


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