Reader feedback: Is the Coquihalla worse this year?

Reader feedback: Is the Coquihalla worse this year?

We asked for your feedback on the Coquihalla and you had a lot to say.

We asked you what you thought about Coquihalla Highway and its issues this year.

Here is a snapshot of some comments.

Linda Erdei But it’s also funny because every time I see a plow and I’m with people all they do is bitch. It’s going way too fast, it’s going to slow, I can’t get passed it. Especially when there are two plows going side by side

Cindy Burnett Its a mountain pass! What do you expect?! It will never be perfect conditions. And if people learned to slow down and drive to the conditions it would be fine!

Tera Thompson-Pemberton There are two or three areas that are consistent problems. Those areas should have 24-hour grooming and sanding. Yes it would cost more but the way it is now isn’t working and when you think of the costs incurred by closures and multi-vehicle accidents it may break even and save lives. Something needs to be done.


Shelley Courtney The only thing that they changed on the Coquihalla is the speed limit, sounds like, shocker, the faster people drive, the more accidents. Especially in the winter.

Garfield Farquharson With advances in traction control, ABS, and tire technology, the roads should be safer, yet we see plenty of accidents and deadly ones too. Clearly the road maintenance is an issue. Unless the only people crashing are in 1978 vehicles.

Kerry Lynn Atherfold It’s not just the Coquihalla, there was just a news article similar to this about the Rogers pass. Everyone is in a hurry to get where they are going and not respecting the road conditions. They expect it to be perfectly cleared by highway crews and it’s always someone else’s fault. Slow down, leave more room when passing, turn your head lights on, clear the snow off your vehicle, ensure you have proper winter tires and be prepared to pull over or change your plans if the road conditions are bad.

Aron Forbes Sced The easiest way to solve the problem is to lower the speed limit to 90km/h from October to May and enforce it. People drive way, way too fast for the conditions. Or how about a $1,000 on the spot fine for truckers who don’t chain up. Oh, and maybe a few more plows.

Sean Mellows Agree it’s perception. I slid off near the summit once around 1991 or so. It’s no worse these days. Modern life has fostered expectations which seem to exceed the bounds of reasonable limitations. Like when it snows heavily all night and then first thing in the morning, people are screaming and crying ‘why isn’t my street plowed yet?’

Paul Cousins I’m guessing, since Big White is so dependent upon the condition of this particular highway, they wouldn’t mind contributing to its upkeep. That would make sense, would it not, that a business so heavily reliant on a single route of egress would want to assist with its maintenance?

Andrea Fiske Macleod The maintenance on this highway has gone downhill for the last two winters. Never in its history has it been shut down this often. You can drive the entire thing and you’re lucky to see one plow. It absolutely is worse than ever and people are paying for it with their lives.

Justin Corrigan The mentality that people think because ABS, traction control and 4WD systems have advanced to the point where they think they can drive the same regardless of weather I feel is a big part of it. The amount of people I see in AWD vehicles and 4WD vehicles tailgating and flying down the road these days seems to be more then I remember. Not to mention all the panic braking people do because “I have abs” syndrome kicks in is absurd.

Laurier Bonsant You could see sparks flying when they were plowing the roads when the $10 fee was on. Now there’s no charge you never see sparks flying from the blades anymore because they don’t have the budget it’s all about profit for the people that are doing it

Dalton Goodwin Sounds like a whiner. Look at the positives… snow on the Coq prob = pow at Big White, ya got there at 6 a.m. for breakfast and first tracks/other people didn’t make it so less lines.

Eldon Smith If people would just wake up to the fact it snows and drive accordingly maybe there wouldn’t be such a problem

David MacKerricher I drove back from the coast last Saturday and as former operations manager of a highways district, I found that the roads were in absolutely terrible conditions. Very few plows were on the roads. The Connector was down to one lane and white conditions. No plows in sight at any time.

Karen Densmore It probably is mainly people driving too fast for the conditions, but my last trip on the Coq was in late November and we hit heavy fog for a spell…couldn’t see a thing. It was so terrifying I swore I’ll never drive that road in the winter again. We drive Hwy 1 to Calgary in the winter, and have had crappy weather, but it’s never as scary for some reason.

Kevin James Hall I don’t think BC residents realize that it’s not actually normal that the first thing you ask someone when they get through a four hour or less drive is “did you see any accidents?” I have driven the Coq hundreds of times, and every single time I arrive on the other end, somebody asks me that. It’s not normal. We should not be so desensitized to this. Deadly/devastating accidents are not something you are supposed to see once per not-even-a-half-day-drive.

Linda Erdei Hell I drive between Vernon and Kelowna multiple times a week. There is always at least 1 crash either direction. It’s very easy to see why watching how people drive. Basically people get a license and a car. No further training or learning on how to drive in different conditions or to drive defensively. That mixed with people’s beliefs that they are invincible and that medical professionals are able to fix anyone and everyone if something where to happen.

Craig Bloom The last couple of winters have been pretty brutal with way more snow than usual. They could definitely increase plows and sanding, but how much higher can our taxes go to pay for it?

Dayleen Vann We decided not to go to the Home Show in Vancouver this weekend because of the horrendous road conditions and constant closures. That’s 2 lost nights in hotels and meals lost to the economy. The dollars add up

Alicia Ferri That’s too bad because the roads were very drivable last weekend

Don Bell If I need to go to the Coast I will fly in the winter months. The last time I went to Bellingham on a shopping trip in November of 2015, with my niece and granddaughter, we were stopped at the hill just north of the snow shed for two hours. When they finally let us go, we had to maneuver between and among countless semi’s jackknifed on the hill north of the snow shed. Never again.

Dale Giblin I drove the connector and Coq this weekend, both highways are in the worst condition I have seen in the 11 years I have been travelling it. I understand that this weekend we had a huge dump of snow, however crews are not out in full force, and when they are I witnessed several trucks barely even scraping the snow, and not sanding.

I also agree that people need to slow down for the conditions, on the way back from Vancouver, on the connector we were passed by two pickup truck who were driving way too fast for the conditions, there poor driving caused an eight vehicle pile-up near Penask, one of these drivers also flipped his truck while trying to pass a snow plow.

Francois Bisson Maybe people need to realize a RWD sport car on all season tires does not belong on that highway… in winter you need to adapted to the condition.. drive slower.. this mean.. accelerate slower ,steer slower and brake way ahead… too much people from the Vancouver area that don’t have a clue what winter really is…

Graham O’Leary One thing for sure is the Coq is closed now and in the last few years more than ever….

Is it the amount of snow ? I don’t think that has changed there is always lots of snow up there…

So it either leaves two things either the contractor isn’t doing there duties to the best they can for what the contract states…

Or the province has lowered the expectations to keep costs down in the provisions of the contract…

I would venture to guess the govt has cheaped out on how much the contract is worth there for we are getting the level of service paid for which is clearly lacking last few years…

Top that off with people rushing or driving to fast in some of the worse conditions of winter a person will ever see and yes it spells disaster and road closures which seem to happen every other day…

Walter Burt Longson They never should have took out the toll both I think personally….

All that money could have went towards highway maintenance and more….

But have it only open from May to end of October

Darryl Fontaine Travelled it last weekend both directions during big snow dump. This time I would compliment maintenance crews as the highway was well plowed despite rapidly accumulating snow fall.

Big part of the accidents problem lies with CVSE and RCMP; do more to enforce mandatory chain up on truckers and you will see drastic decrease in accidents and road closures.

Dave McClellan I drive 80-ish, and get passed like I’m parked. One person not driving to conditions when they crash so do others, SLOW DOWN”.

Andrew Lee I’ve been driving back and forth to Vancouver in a little 99 civic. If you drive to the conditions you won’t have a problem

Alicia Ferri No it’s the same. People with their fancy cars are over confident and think their fancy technology allows them to drive like idiots.

Nick Ogawa Could always fly and avoid the drive… big white could offer more shuttle from the airport and …. wham bam highway avoided…

Mike Bell Save the stressful drive , plenty of mountain’s south to USA, or on the coast or island that would rival or trump Big White conditions …

Nadine Kozub Enright its NOT the road its NEVER the road it’s the drivers. It’s a mountain pass why do 1000s cross it ever winter safely? Because they are not idiots slow down stop tail gating slow down! I’m quite bothered how many accidents are semis this winter?

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