The worst intersections in BC

Sunday, October 30th, 2005

BCAA/PROVINCE SURVEY: Readers hate Vancouver intersection — and many, many others

Frank Luba

Lynn Siddaway and all the drivers of B.C., we feel your pain.

Siddaway was one of the 2,569 frustrated, fuming and flummoxed motorists who responded to a B.C. Automobile Association/ Province poll about B.C.’s worst intersections.

Her complaint was about the Vancouver junction of 49th Avenue and Knight Street, which was top of the tops in the province with 54 mentions.

Siddaway admitted to being a little surprised her choice turned out to be the worst in the province, “but I guess I shouldn’t be. I’ve never personally seen an accident there but it’s an accident in the making, all the time, waiting to happen.

“I try to avoid it all costs,” she added.

Like so many other dysfunctional junctions, traffic volume and congestion afflict 49th and Knight.

But the biggest issue there was the lack of advanced left-hand turning.

“Basically, it turns into a one-lane highway because everyone stays in the right lane to avoid these people turning left at 49th,” said Siddaway.

“It slows everything down. When people get slowed down they get impatient and they do silly things.”

Similar congestion and left-turn lane issues make Cooper Road and Highway 97 in Kelowna the second-worst in the province.

The issue there is access to the Okanagan community’s Orchard Park mall. Gwen McPhee wrote that she is “tired of waiting for up to a half-hour or longer to turn.”

Third on the list is the new freeway interchange of 200th Street and Highway 1 in Langley.

“In this day and age, to design a major freeway interchange with traffic lights, no cloverleafs, and the most confusing signage I have ever encountered is ridiculous,” wrote Hal Klassen of Coquitlam.

“The person responsible for this should be drummed out of his profession,” continued Klassen, who has travelled extensively but never seen a design like 200th and the Trans-Canada.

In all, seven of the 10 worst intersections are in the Lower Mainland, with one in the Okanagan and two in Victoria — including Douglas Street at Hillside Avenue, where five roads converge.

BCAA spokesman Trace Acres said the survey is ammunition to take to the city, province or authority in charge to get changes made.

He said the plan now is to bring the 10 most complained-about intersections in each region to the politicians’ attention.

“We want to say, ‘What can you do about it, what are you doing about it or if you have no intention of doing anything about it,'” said Acres.

BCAA plans to follow up on the responses and then tell its members the result.

“This is not a scientific survey but I think it is representative,” said Acres. “We’ve seen in each of the regions people come forward and say, ‘This intersection in our community is a problem.'”

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