Kelowna prunes trees blocking stop sign after Chilliwack driver gets T-boned in dangerous intersection | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna prunes trees blocking stop sign after Chilliwack driver gets T-boned in dangerous intersection

A Chilliwack woman drove right through this intersection because she couldn't see the stop sign for the trees.
September 03, 2021 - 7:00 AM

Janet Strauss admits she was at fault for running a stop sign that resulted in her being T-boned in a Kelowna intersection that totalled her vehicle this past Sunday.

That’s because she didn’t see any stop sign as she drove on Leckie Road into the intersection with Dilworth Drive, Aug. 29.

Strauss told iNFOnews.ca the stop sign was obscured by overhanging tree branches.

“It looked like a throughway," she said.

The City of Kelowna has policies requiring residents to keep sight lines clear. These trees, however, appear to be on city-owned property between the road and sidewalk.

READ MORE: Who do you call about offensive shrubberies in Kelowna?

Strauss was driving a Ford Escape. Another woman, driving a van down the hill from Dilworth Mountain, smashed into her.

This is Stauss' vehicle after she ran the stop sign.
This is Stauss' vehicle after she ran the stop sign.
Image Credit: Submitted/Janet Strauss

“There were no brakes for her,” Strauss said. “She didn’t see any reason to stop.”

Not only was the stop sign on Leckie Road rendered invisible by low hanging branches, but a cedar hedge makes it hard for anyone coming down from Dilworth Mountain to see someone running the stop sign.

This is the view of the other vehicle, showing Leckie Road with the stop sign Strauss didn't see.
This is the view of the other vehicle, showing Leckie Road with the stop sign Strauss didn't see.
Image Credit: Submitted/Janet Strauss

There is a pedestrian-activated traffic light at the intersection but it is also blocked by the trees.

Fortunately, Strauss wasn’t seriously hurt but is achy. The driver of the van, who had an elderly male passenger with her, seemed to be OK but may have bruised her leg, Strauss said.

“I’m from out of town so I didn’t know the road at all,” she said. “We drove it again, the next day with my son, and he even had issues because of the same problem.”

What made matters worse for her is that she phoned the Kelowna bylaws department to complain about the intersection.

“He called me back and said: ‘I drove it and there’s a white line,’” Strauss said. “I said it doesn’t matter about the white line. People aren’t looking for a white line. People are looking for a stop sign and you can’t see that stop sign.”

iNFONews.ca got a totally different reaction from Kelowna bylaws acting manager Ken Hunter.

“Those directional signs need to be absolutely clear and open to the motoring public,” Hunter said. “I wasn’t aware of this. We’ll be happy to look at it. Thank you for bringing it to our attention.”

A day later, he emailed a photo to iNFOnews.ca showing the trees had been trimmed and the stop sign is now easier to see.

The same stop sign after the City of Kelowna trimmed the trees.
The same stop sign after the City of Kelowna trimmed the trees.
Image Credit: Submitted/City of Kelowna

Strauss was pleased with that quick response but suggested more needs to be done. Not only should sight lines be clear for those coming down Dilworth Drive so they can see cross traffic, but some kind of flashing light would be helpful as well, she suggested.

Front-line workers who attended the scene of the accident told her that such incidents aren’t uncommon at that intersection.

READ MORE: Kelowna has 8 of the 10 worst intersections for car crashes in the Southern Interior

Strauss did get a ticket for running a stop sign and accepts that.

“I’m at fault,” she said. “I’m just trying to make it safer for other people.”

The intersection does seem safer now. Or is it? You tell us by making a comment below.

Complaints about vegetation blocking sight lines can be filed with the City of Kelowna bylaws department by phone at 250-469-8686 or online here.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

We welcome your comments and opinions on our stories but play nice. We won't censor or delete comments unless they contain off-topic statements or links, unnecessary vulgarity, false facts, spam or obviously fake profiles. If you have any concerns about what you see in comments, email the editor in the link above. 

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