Underneath Westside Road

Underneath Westside Road

Westside named worst road

Westside Road tops BCAA's Worst Roads Campaign, Cosens Bay Road in Coldstream takes sixth

Cars off cliffs, potholes that could swallow a small car, narrow, windy, unlit stretches have all led to Westside Road being deemed the worst road in B.C.

And Coldstream’s pot hole and crumbling pavement riddled Cosens Bay Road took the sixth spot.

Those are results from BCAA’s Worst Roads Campaign – as voted by B.C. residents.

After 12 years of fighting to see improvements on Westside Road, Jim Edgson (Central Okanagan West electoral area director) was beaming to see the stretch move from 18th in last year’s survey to first for 2012.

“This road is in dire need of improvement,” said Edgson, prior to meeting with co-members of the Rural Westside Road Improvement Committee Friday to work out a request for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to take on a five-year plan for the road. “Quit patching the patches and start renewing it.

“As you can tell by the BCAA survey, a lot of people up here are getting very impatient,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing Westside Road drop off that list because MOTI did something.”

The worst section of road, according to Edgson, is the approximately three-kilometre stretch north of Shelters Cove.

“Going north is not bad but coming south you take your life into your hands.”

Yet the entire stretch of road needs work and Edgson hopes the results of this survey will give the ministry the push it needs to finally resolve the issues.

“The MLA (Ben Stewart) and minister of MOTI (Blair Lekstrom) have driven that road and know how bad it is,” said Edgson, who personally alerted Premier Christy Clark to the problem last year.

It is hoped a five-year plan for Westside Road will be formed and adhered to.

But Edgson admits it may be a bumpy road as some sections of Westside lie directly on private property, therefore there are purchasing issues.

In the meantime, he encourages residents to keep sending their concerns to the government to ensure the BCAA survey results don’t fall on deaf ears.

And: “You’ve got to drive with due care and attention until it is fixed.”

Meanwhile Coldstream’s mayor questions the credibility of the BCAA survey, which ranks Cosens Bay Road as the sixth worst in B.C.

“The sampling is questionable,” said Jim Garlick, also pointing out that the road is mainly in Area B’s jurisdiction. “I don’t think it carries much weight unless they can provide us with some more information on it, such as areas of it.”

But he does admit the road needs some work.

“For the amount of traffic, it could be improved,” said Garlick of the chip-sealed road that channels residents from across the North Okanagan to Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park.

From April 2 to 23, close to 3,500 motorists, pedestrians and cyclists took part in the BCAA second annual Worst Roads Campaign and identified 730 separate stretches of road that they believe are the worst in B.C.

“Through their responses to the campaign, British Columbians are putting a spotlight on roads that they believe have a negative impact on their vehicles, stress levels and safety,” said Ken Cousin, BCAA’s associate vice-president of Road Assist.