Crossing Highway 6 at Pottery Road is incredibly dangerous, whether you are in a vehicle or on a bike like I was recently.
In over 20 years of visiting my family, I have observed many vehicular accidents at this intersection. One recent morning, as I was coming back from my bike ride from the Okanagan Rail Trail, there was another one.
As I drove up to the intersection on my bike, I asked the firefighters and the RCMP at the scene why does this continue to happen and nothing has been done about it to make this a safer intersection?
I was told Highway 6 is under the Ministry of Highways and Pottery Road is civic. My response was then the city is 50 per cent responsible.
I then asked the RCMP officer, since you are under the provincial umbrella, why do you not put radar on the corner before Pottery, since many drivers are going at least 20-30 kilometres over the posted speed limit? He said because of a lack of manpower.
I told him there is a large high school a couple of blocks away full of new drivers, lots of students on bikes, and there are a lot of seniors who live in East Hill that are going to Polson’s mall, who unfortunately due to age, have diminished reflexes so inexperienced driver may miscalculate the time they have to cross Highway 6 due to the speeding vehicles.
Yes, there is another option to go around via Kalamalka Road, turn left and then try and not get sideswiped as you quickly merge into the right free-flow lane to be able to enter the road that accesses the mall. I have gone this way on my bike and in my SUV and it is difficult.
I have raced my sports car on a track, so my driving skills are very good. Two gals from the operations office from the City of Vernon said they were cyclists and would never cross Highway 6 at Pottery Road.
There are always solutions. A flashing crosswalk? You can’t put traffic lights there, I am told by the RCMP, because there is a minimum distance rule between intersections and Kalamalka Road at Highway 6 is too close.
Drop the speed limit. I doubt that will work due to the lack of enforcing speeding cars and photo radar isn’t used in B.C.
I will send a letter to the highways ministry voicing my concern about this intersection. I hope the people of Vernon do the same. It is a shame that accidents continue to happen at this intersection. As for me, I am going to load my bike on my SUV and not play Russian roulette with my life trying to get across Highway 6 and drive to the Okanagan Rail Trail parking lot. It will be less stressful and safer.
Linda Love, Vernon