The highest crash site in Campbell River is getting new traffic lights that will have dedicated left-turn arrows.
City council, at its Monday meeting, approved the purchase of the traffic signals – at a cost of $197,650 – to help improve safety at Dogwood Street and 16th Avenue.
Clinton Crook, the city’s senior buyer, said the intersection is arguably the city’s most dangerous and, as a consequence, ICBC has agreed to chip in $92,300 towards replacement and upgrades to the traffic light.
“This intersection is currently the top crash site in Campbell River, at 46 ICBC reported claims in the five years from 2011 to 2015,” Crook said. “The high level of ICBC funding indicates ICBC’s willingness to cooperate with municipalities to make our roads safer. It also indicates that ICBC expects a high reduction in collisions with the improvements.”
The money couldn’t have come at a better time.
The side lights on the southwest corner of Dogwood and 16th are currently leaning to the side and are fenced off after the light standard was hit over the weekend.
Coun. Charlie Cornfield said he and Mayor Andy Adams know the motorist involved in the collision and Cornfield said he’s pleased to see the city taking action to make the intersection safer.
“This is long overdue for this intersection,” Cornfield said. “I think improving the safety of the intersection is very important. Your Worship (Adams) and I have a friend who was tee-boned at that intersection on Saturday.”
The intersection is particularly treacherous because motorists turning left have to make their turn while oncoming traffic also has a green light. There is currently only one advance left-turn arrow at that intersection, on the traffic signal for west-bound traffic turning left onto Dogwood.
The new traffic lights will have advance green left-turn arrows in all four directions, but, similar to the lights on Dogwood from Merecroft to 9th, there will be no dedicated turn lanes on the Dogwood sides (north and south) of the intersection.
Still, Coun. Michele Babchuk said it will be nice to have more consistency along Dogwood.
“It’s one of the SLCRs (Service Level Change Requests) I’m happy to see go forward so that our traffic lights are starting to resemble each other in some way, shape or form,” Babchuk said. “I know that intersection, ever since Wal Mart got in, 16th has become a bit more of a thoroughfare. It’s a welcome change.”
In addition to the new left-turn arrows, the light replacement project will include new bases and poles, new street name signage, new traffic signal heads, new LED luminaires, new accessible pedestrian system, new pedestrian countdown timers and a new emergency vehicle pre-emption system.
The signals will be provided by Raylec Power – the same provider of the Dogwood traffic lights between Merecroft and 9th that were installed in 2010.
The current lights at Dogwood and 16th were installed in 1983 by the B.C. ministry of transportation and infrastructure.