A traffic light on Bowen Road. (News Bulletin file)

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Change traffic patterns to avoid crashes

Letter writers suggest problems are inevitable at certain intersections

To the editor,

Re: Nanaimo’s worst intersections, Aug. 12.

The main problem with Nanaimo’s intersections are entitled, ignorant and self-centred drivers. How much was spent on the Highway 19-Cranberry intersection? And people heading north are still squeaking a left turn through traffic headed south with a green light.

The Northfield-old Island Highway improved intersection was open for about three days before the first accident. All that taxpayers’ money spent and the same people are pulling the same driver errors.

I believe the main problem is the disparity of left-turn lane traffic control devices. If the numbers were crunched I wager the intersections with a dedicated left-turn signal and red light on opposing traffic’s green light would be the ones with the lowest number of accidents. I suggest that should be the standard. Get rid of the ‘left turn on green when clear’ devices and signs.

When you give people the choice of making a decision, some are going to make the wrong one, resulting in damage, injuries and deaths. Install left-turn lights on all intersections with that option and make all left turns through opposing traffic illegal.

It is such a simple solution I wonder why all the people who do intersection accident reporting haven’t come up with it. Unless it is an issue of cost and someone somewhere is putting money above people’s safety.

Rod Hancock, Nanaimo

To the editor,

Re: Nanaimo’s worst intersections, Aug. 12.

The Bowen Road-Dufferin Crescent intersection is once again in the top 10 for accidents in Nanaimo.

This angers me greatly as a couple of years ago I sent Nanaimo city hall a letter which was forwarded to the transportation department. I stated clearly the ways that that intersection could be made safer. It is as simple as changing the lights on Dufferin Crescent to be switched to functioning alternately as is done at other intersections, to name the Bowen-Northfield one for example.

Not having a designated right turn lane coming from the Boxwood side means that someone trying to turn left from the Westhill side has to contend with people racing straight through trying to beat the light.

It is also dangerous for pedestrians; I rarely cross there but almost got run over in the crosswalk by a driver too busy looking left to see if it was clear to turn onto Bowen Road. I believe that one way to cut down on car-pedestrian accidents at intersections would be to ban right turns on red lights.

The Westhill exit is another highly risky area. The city once did cut down the shrubs that blocked visibility for drivers and planted low ones. However they are now too tall for cars to see oncoming traffic. A slow to 30 sign would also help, as drivers seem to barrel around that curve without watching for vehicles.

Please, write city hall and anyone else you can think of to advocate for a safer intersection. As we all know the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Make your voices heard.

Dinah Lestock-Kay, Nanaimo

The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.

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