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Kelowna's Westside Road officially B.C.'s worst

Westside Road as seen from Bear Creek Provincial Park.
June 06, 2013 - 9:55 AM

The day after yet another accident, Kelowna's notoriously dangerous Westside Road ranks as B.C.'s worst paved roadway. The narrow route precariously tracing a steep cliff on the west side of Okanagan Lake sees a steady number of motor vehicle accidents.

The latest was June 5 when a 40-year-old West Kelowna man suffered serious injuries after crashing his motorcycle into an oncoming vehicle just before 10 p.m. Police said the accident occurred at low speed and was due to debris on the road and driver error—not an issue with the road itself.

Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians completed an online survey voting for the road they felt the most unsafe. Those who voted for Westside Road cited crumbling pavement and potholes as their top concerns.

Vancouver's B.C. Parkway came in a close second and Richmond's George Massey Tunnel nabbed third place.

Ken Cousin, BCAA's associate vice president of Road Assist said in a press statement, "We recognize the road work that has already taken place along Westside Road, and based on the votes, see that road users still feel more work needs to be done."

The BCAA campaign looked at 581 paved roads and infrastructures throughout the province including bridges and tunnels before selecting its top ten culprits. 

Westside Road satisfied a number of criteria for a "worst road":

    - poorly designed or maintained for pedestrian/cycling safety
    - poor road signs or road markings
    - damaging potholes or crumbling pavement
    - poorly timed traffic lights
    - poorly designed and contribute to traffic congestion

While the title is nothing to celebrate it does put a provincial spotlight on the road, hopefully kickstarting the $4.5 million in upgrades approved in 2012.

Cousin says, "By placing Westside Road at the top of the list again, road users, including a local committee dedicated to improving the road, are putting a spotlight on the need for more repairs and improvement."

* RCMP say an accident Wednesday night on Westside road involving a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a Subaru Legacy was not blamed on the conditions of the highway, though debris on the road was mentioned as a possible factor. The driver of the motorcycle is believed to be at fault and is expected to be charged with Drive Without Consideration.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at jwhittet@infotelnews.ca or call (250)718-0428.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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