I see that Council has instructed City Staff to immediately install stop signs to prevent “an accident waiting to happen” at two locations – Birch and Evergreen and Alder and Evergreen.
I agree with the first and totally disagree with the second.
Let’s deal first with Evergreen and Birch. This IS a VERY dangerous intersection, made even more so by the new hospital entrance traffic. For traffic heading east, downhill towards the blind intersection on a steep hill, you are presented with vehicles and pedestrians in front of you as you crest a blind hill in a 50 kmh zone. You have almost no chance to see, react and try to stop in time. This will be made even more impossible by any sort of bad weather that makes the roads slippery. My suggestion is to drop the speed to 30 km/h, install warning signs and speed bumps for the downhill traffic…and maybe even a flashing warning light.
Dealing with Evergreen and Alder is a different matter. Firstly, council is quoting crash statistics from Evergreen and Alder that are anywhere from 2-7 years out of date. Traffic flows have changed in that time period. Are these statistics still relevant today? If the recently changed “accident waiting to happen” traffic flows are the result of altered traffic over the last couple of months, how can seven year old statistics even apply?
Let’s also question what the statistics reveal as the actual causes of the crashes they are using to justify strangling traffic on a main arterial road? Did they request the police supply the causes of who was responsible for those “incidents” or did they just run with the numbers because it supported their decision? Were any of those crashes the responsibility of the Alder Street drivers or were the drivers at the stop signs on Evergreen responsible? The sight lines for drivers entering Alder from the hospital side are remarkable in their quality. You can see up hill to at least Pinecrest and almost to Centennial Park on your left. There is no way sight lines are a problem.
I think a review of the drivers at fault for the crashes will show the ones using stop signs caused the crashes. To proceed with the signs without actually seeing what caused the crashes…or to ignore the actual evidence, is totally irresponsible. If the stop signs don’t prevent crashes then why are you insisting on installing more of something that obviously is NOT working in this exact location? In the past I have investigated several crashes at Alder and Evergreen and was hit in my personal car by a driver at Alder and First…you’ll never guess why they happened? Drivers chose to deliberately disobey the stop signs.
I will end my plea with an analogy: If you lose your keys at night, a smart person will look where they actually lost them, rather than choosing to look in the wrong place under a street light just because the light is better there.