Concern over Kamloops intersection dismissed

The intersection of 8th Street, Westsyde Road and Batchelor Drive, combined with the Halston Avenue ramps, is one of the worst for collisions in the city.

Not considered high-risk for collision

The intersection of 8th Street, Batchelor Drive and the Halston Avenue ramps was fourth in the city for traffic collisions in 2012 with 31 crashes, but the city does not consider the intersection high-risk based on a network screening study.

In 2006 the city identified the intersection of 8th Street and Halston Avenue as one of the top-five for volume in the North Shore area and the Halston Interchange was considered number 10 in the city for collisions with an average of 16 per year. A 2007 report pinpointed the intersection and interchange as the most critical points for the growth of Batchelor Heights.

ICBC statistics show the intersection linking Westsyde and Batchelor Heights with the North Shore to be one of the worst over the past five years as well, with a total of 137 crashes.

The intersection is now being brought to the attention of council after a complaint from a long-time Kamloops resident who feels the traffic growth in the area needs to be seriously looked at in order to deal with the congestion.

Rosie Bebek, in an email to council, says Halston Avenue is backed up daily by people wanting to cross on 8th Street to go up Batchelor Drive and this backup can also affect drivers trying to head north on Westsyde Road.

Though Bebek suggests the possibility of an overpass Marvin Kwiatkowski of engineering services has outlined steps already taken to deal with congestion for council - noting timing adjustments were made in March and five weeks later traffic counts showed existing volumes and vehicle queues were serviced within a single cycle.

Kwiatkowski also notes the intersection is not considered one of the top 20 high-risk collision intersections in the city – though ICBC statistics say otherwise. The city has split the intersection in to two components with the Halston Avenue ramps separate from the intersection with lights. This differentiation changes the statistics. So while Batchelor Drive and Westsyde Road is not considered a high collision area to the city the Halston Avenue ramps are - but 135 of 157 collisions over a five-year period (2006-2010) were rear-end crashes, Kwiatkowski points out.

According to ICBC more than 15 per cent of all crashes in the southern Interior occurred in Kamloops last year – a total of 5,530 crashes. In 2012 the three worst intersections in the city were 8th Street and Fortune Drive and Tranquille Road with 39 crashes, Columbia Street West and Summit Drive (turning lane) with 37 and 3rd Avenue at Columbia Street with 36.

To contact a reporter for this story, email or call (250) 819-3723.

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