It’s been nearly a year to the day since Wayne Kurchaba was in an accident at 6th Avenue and Old Hope Princeton Way (OHPW), and he’s wondering why the busy intersection is still uncontrolled.
“I mean, I still won’t go down there on the weekends,” he told this reporter while wringing his hands. “I don’t even bother anymore—I avoid it like the plague.
“Even during weekdays, when I’m coming up to the intersection I’m looking (everywhere trying to figure out) who’s going to stop, who’s creeping out, who’s not going to stop, who’s going to bolt—every time.”
On July 26, 2020, Kurchaba’s car collided with a Range Rover that failed to obey the stop sign on 6th Avenue headed to Starbucks. And although both Kurchaba and the other driver were able to walk away unharmed, Kurchaba’s vehicle was towed away and eventually written off.
“I was lucky, but it’s just a matter of time before somebody (is seriously hurt),” Kurchaba continued. “And I don’t know where (to go) from here: I know (councillor Victor Smith) was telling me (the District) did put in the paperwork to the (provincial government), but where’s the progress?”
With the level of traffic that flows through the intersection, a four-way traffic light is what the District of Hope requested from the Province in July 2018—a fully two years before Kurchaba’s accident.
“Ideally, the option for advance turning signals will be included to allow for modification if desired later,” John Fortoloczky, the District’s chief administrative officer, previously explained to The Hope Standard.
But it takes lots of time and money to make things like this come to fruition, so while on the surface it appears as though nothing’s changed, that’s actually not the case.
After conducting studies of the intersection, Fortoloczky says the Province has said the “assessment and design (for controlling the intersection will) be shelf ready by November.
“The District remains hopeful that the Province will continue to see this as a priority (because it’s they who own the road. However,) funding (for this project) will be pursued the following year.”
The British Columbia Budget and Fiscal Plan 2021/22 to 2023/24 includes $7.5 billion in transportation capital investments that span the province as part of its commitment to the Transportation Investment Plan.
But only time will tell how much of that earmarked money will eventually find its way onto 6th Avenue and Old Princeton Way as some sort of traffic control.
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– with files from Emelie Peacock