KAMLOOPS — I often question how decisions are made regarding the design of intersections in the city. Especially where they involve properties that are in a difficult spot. It is not easy to resolve. I remember years ago, Councillor (then) John O’Fee commenting on a development with words to the effect (loose paraphrase cause I’m getting old and my memory is not that good) that you just couldn’t shut a property owner down from developing his property, and he had a right to be able to do business. I agreed with the principle and still do. But it’s very scary when you look at some intersections.
One new problematic area is just up from Broadcast Centre. A new Starbucks and Domino’s have been located on the site where a gas station once stood at Columbia and McGill. It wasn’t an easy intersection when the gas station was there. It’s even worse now. Here’s the problem. It’s on a tight “S” curve, it’s right by a school, employee vehicles are being parked at what has always been a school drop off zone, where parents parked to drop their kids off and pick them up. Traffic has been busy since the new stores opened. To top it off, when you come out, no matter which way you turn, it’s scary and will only get more so when school opens Tuesday and hundreds of kids are wandering through that area. If you want to turn left, you almost have to break your neck to see if someone is coming down the hill on the frontage road. If you want to turn right, unless you have a Smart Car, you can’t make the turn without going into the other lane. It’s a real problem. I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s going to cause problems.
Other intersection areas that I am aware of just in my area include turning right from Columbia on to Notre Dame. There is very little opportunity to make a shift to the left lane if you want to turn left onto Laval Crescent. And traffic often gets backed up turning right into the shopping centre.
And then there’s the Superstore shopping centre lot. If you come out onto Columbia Street and need to get into the left lanes of traffic to turn, it’s really awkward. Much potential road rage there as I watch motorists try to maneuver through that stretch.
And finally, there’s the gong show at Pacific Way and Hugh Allan Drive. People trying to turn left and right, onto the highway, off the highway and finding they can’t turn left. The roundabout that most motorists are clueless about using, or trying to maneuver into the Casino and Costco.
If you’re not a patient person, you should avoid those areas. Or pull into the Starbucks or Tim Horton’s, have a coffee, take a few deep breaths, and then get on your way. If you don’t relax, you will almost certainly do something you will regret. Whether you lose your patience at some person trying to find their way through the maze, or have a heart attack because your blood pressure has gone through the roof.
As I say, people have a right to run their businesses, but sometimes you sit back, look, and say “what were they thinking?”