Tenants at a Vernon business complex are hoping for an 11th-hour change to a new turn design into their facility.
The strata board of the Alpine Centre has contacted the City of Vernon and District of Coldstream regarding the newly designed turn in and out of the centre, located on Kal Lake Road.
“We are putting you on notice that the design of the portion of the road leading to the entrance our complex from the Coldstream side is hazardous and faulty for traffic entering and exiting our complex,” wrote the board in a letter addressed to both municipalities, along with the engineering firm in charge of the project, which has been ongoing for months.
Board president Doris Linemayr said the section of the road bordering and fronting the complex is particularly narrow in this part, and the complex traffic that has to make the almost 90-degree right turn to exit the complex to Coldstream in this tight area often drive over the sidewalk or swerve into the other lane.
Similarly, she said, it is difficult for traffic entering the complex from Coldstream. There is no dedicated left turn into the centre.
“Unlike other complexes, we have only one entrance and exit for all our traffic,” said Linemayr. “We are a busy centre and we have big delivery and service trucks making their rounds. Traffic flow is quite bearable now, as it is often a controlled one-direction flow with the work activity going on. It would be quite a horrendous situation when traffic flow goes back to normal and when there is snow accumulation on the roadsides in the winter.”
Elliot Lysyk, who has operated Arise Chiropractic Wellness Center in the complex for the past 10 years, said people turning right must yield to traffic in both directions due to the narrowness of the road at this exact point. With only one exiting lane available, Lysyk said lines of traffic waiting to exit form rapidly.
“I have already been stuck behind three or four cars awaiting exit, which congest the bridge and can cause some serious feelings of impatience,” said Lysyk. “I’ve never seen anything like this in the whole 10 years I have held a clinical practice at the centre.
“This will only become worse as traffic increases once all construction is complete.”
The board said it had an on-site meeting with both municipalities and the engineering firm over their concerns, and the strata said an easy fix to the solution is cutting back into the bike path and rounding off that whole side for an easier right turn out of the centre.
“We appreciate the concerns expressed by the Alpine Centre strata association and we are listening to them,” said City of Vernon communications officer Nick Nilsen. “We have already made a change based on the recommendations they made at the meeting. Specifically, the stop line in the Alpine Centre lot will be widened by 3.5 meters. This will help vehicles position themselves better for making a safe right turn onto Kalamalka Road.”
Nilsen said it’s important to keep in mind that the new roadway was designed and constructed with safety in mind, based on traffic count evidence, using the Transportation Association of Canada (TAC) roadway engineering standards for the safe and efficient movement of traffic.
“We will continue to monitor the traffic patterns and maintain contact with the strata association. It is standard on large construction projects that additional work may be required, so we will be actively monitoring the roadway to see how the lack of a left turn lane into the Alpine Centre affects traffic flow,” said Nilsen.
“If there is a negative effect, we will discuss the issue with our colleagues in Coldstream to seek solutions.”
The Alpine Centre is in Vernon whereas the left turn lane would be located in Coldstream.