Accident reignites traffic safety debate

Residents of one Okanagan Landing neighbourhood says there’s more proof lives are at risk following accident

Residents of one Okanagan Landing neighbourhood says there’s more proof lives are at risk.

On Wednesday night, a vehicle left Okanagan Landing Road, in the 8800 block, sheered off a sign, went through a gate, struck a trailer with two snowmobiles on board, rolled over a steel post and then finally came to rest up against another gate.

“It probably travelled 30 to 40 feet,” said Matthew Ball, the owner of the yard that was damaged by the vehicle.

“If we had been in the yard, we’d have been dead.”

Ball was among 65 people who attended a meeting Tuesday to discuss the City of Vernon’s options for improving safety.

“We want something to happen,” said Ball.

The vast majority of those at the meeting want some form of traffic-calming device.

“The majority of the comments called for widening the shoulder for pedestrians, traffic bumps, police enforcement and some spoke of the bypass that may happen years from now,” said resident Carolyn Anele Dickson.

“Residents are concerned about safety in regards to traffic speed and that certain parts of Okanagan Landing Road are too narrow, with little or no room for pedestrians or cyclists.”

City officials insist all options are being considered, but the preferred project is installing curb and gutter and an asphalt surface for pedestrians.

“We will do up a design and take it back to the residents to show them what it would look like,” said Rob Dickinson, engineering manager.

Speed bumps have not been ruled out but Dickinson says they could create a hazard for someone not familiar with what’s designated a connector road.

“With emergency services, you also need to look at response times,” he said of ambulances slowing down so they can navigate the bumps.

“It’s something we will bring forward to council with the pros and cons.”