Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Traffic concerns in and around Kaleden

Writer has noticed several potentially life-threatening safety traffic concerns

I work in Kaleden and I have noticed several potentially life-threatening traffic safety concerns.

Concern 1: Lakehill Road and Highway 97 exit urgently needs a traffic light.

When you turn right off Lakehill Road onto Highway 97 going towards Penticton, there is only one lane and traffic is travelling extremely fast. There is nowhere to go if you pull out and the oncoming traffic is going above the speed limit (it is very hard to judge).

When you are turning left off Highway 97 onto Lakehill there is a turning lane, but it is extremely dangerous to get into the fast lane and then get into the turning lane just before Lakehill with cars whizzing by (annoyed that you are in the fast lane when you are clearly slowing down). It is not a good idea to go 80 kilometres/hour and then slam into the turning lane. In the winter this is a huge concern. At least Lakehill has a turning lane. There are many places to turn left off the highway with no turning lanes. If a vehicle in the fast lane decides to turn in for gas, for instance, cars coming up behind them are often going well above 80 km/h and are left to put on the brakes. If the road conditions are anything but perfect, this will eventually result in a horrific accident. It seems that it is only a matter of time before somebody will die before the necessary traffic precautions are put in place.

Concern 2: The area of Highway 97 that is around the Kaleden turn offs needs to have a speed limit more in line with other communities.

The speed limit is 80 km/h and there is no slowdown on the highway around the community of Kaleden. This is only a concern in Kaleden. There is not only a slowdown on Highway 97 at Red Wing, Trout Creek, Summerland, Peachland, Westbank etc. but they all also have a traffic light. Kaleden is a community that is equally important to all of the other communities in the Okanagan and it seems to me that this oversight must be corrected immediately before a serious accident occurs.

Concern 3: There are no sidewalks on Linden Avenue where Kaleden School is located.

The students are forced to walk on the street (a very narrow street) avoiding traffic as they walk. The cars are often not even aware that there is a school located on Linden. The signs as you turn right onto Linden only indicate Linden Gardens and wineries. There is no signage for the school until you are almost at the school. I believe Kaleden School is equally important to other schools in our school district and sidewalks and better signage need to be taken into consideration. This situation becomes even more dangerous for the children of Kaleden in the winter, when the snow is inadequately cleared and students are forced to walk even more on the street and cars are trying to maneuver around the children.

Sherree Lind

Penticton

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