Letter: Turning south from Harvey needs fixing

Perhaps the residents of Kelowna are conditioned to turmoil over the highway that runs through it.

To the editor:

Let all roads lead from Kelowna—and cut off all roads that lead to it.

I do not subscribe to conspiracy theories so I don’t believe that there are people who brain storm over how to make things more difficult, but I am surprised there is almost no response over cutting off the left turning lane from Harvey/Highway 97 onto Pandosy. Perhaps the residents of Kelowna are conditioned to turmoil over the highway that runs through it.

When we moved here over a dozen years ago the problem was with the bridge, but after years of lobbying and hard work by all levels of government and the First Nations People most of the bridge problems were resolved. Then the VHF lane was added on the right side, rather than left to accommodate all the left turns off the highway, most of which did not have lights and backed traffic up. Most of us have learned to live with it although now it is being considered to be eliminated.

A major reconstruction of the intersections at Water/Pandosy had over 17 different proposals, many with overhead pedestrian bridges and ended with the limiting of Abbott to right turn only, eliminating the Water intersection at the expense of the businesses—McDonalds, Tim Horton’s, Mac Store and Money Mart—who sued the city. Except for them, things got better.

So now the traffic is moving it seems time to throw another monkey wrench into the system.

My partners and I bought the old Tim Horton’s for Century 21 as they could live with the exposure in trade for some inconvenience in terms of access. But after only a few years of being in place the Pandosy intersection and access to the Mission is about to get considerably more difficult.  I turn left on this interception every day and often count six to 10 cars in line—four to six can make it through a turn signal depending on how colour blind and daring are those who are turning. At the end of the light one or sometimes two more can sneak through the yellow/red but traffic is often coming off the bridge fast and trying to run the yellow, so it is risky.

Without the turn light it will mean most cars have to wait for four to six light changes in order to make the turn and we will see more traffic building up into the through lane to the Westside as well as more frustrated people try to run the red. With all the development planned in the Mission this will only become a bigger problem and we will be making more changes again in a year.

Business on the south side of the highway need a longer term vision to make their own plans.

I urge our council to look at this seriously, however, I understand they are pointing at the province as this is a highway.

So lets get our MLAs, local businesses, Mission developers and council all on the same page and look at a long term solution.

Layton Park,

Kelowna