EDITORIAL: Council makes the right move

Vernon council members show common sense in Okanagan Landing Road pedestrian crossing decision

Thankfully there’s some common sense around Vernon city hall.

Council members have given the green light to pedestrian safety upgrades at Okanagan Landing and Myriad roads in 2013 despite staff recommending the project not proceed until 2016.

“I have seen a lot of close calls there,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham, who wasn’t satisfied with the staff report.

The posted speed is 70 kilometres an hour, which means vehicles are going significantly faster. For a resident, and particularly the large number of seniors in that neighbourhood, trying to cross Okanagan Landing Road is extremely hazardous. Even walking along the shoulder is a problem as concrete berms take up space.

While the cause hasn’t been determined yet, a pedestrian died after being struck by a vehicle there in December.

Staff didn’t recommend action until 2016 because there are significant demands for pedestrian upgrades elsewhere in the community, and infrastructure like sidewalks is extremely expensive.

However, while sidewalks may eventually occur, there isn’t the population base in the Myriad Road area to warrant them now and a concrete pathway isn’t necessary at this time.

Council members were right to accept an alternative that will see the speed limit reduced to 50 kilometres an hour and the concrete barriers moved closer to the road, making the shoulder wider.

The project is still going to cost $35,000 but if it ensures a safe environment for pedestrians and motorists, it is well worth the price.

– Vernon Morning Star