Hospital Hill

Resident demands action to improve highway safety for pedestrians

I write once again to reiterate my concerns about the T-intersection directly adjacent to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

On Feb. 4, as per usual, I was in the area on Highway 97 at about 7:20 am. I turned right off of 23rd Avenue on to the highway to be confronted with an accident scene facing south, going up the hill.

The emergency vehicles had yet to arrive but there was a person with a “Slow” paddle in his hand, directing traffic around the casualties.

While it had snowed overnight, the highway was decent winter driving condition.

While I don’t know the details of this accident, it reminded me of the many near misses that I have witnessed in that specific spot.

I have seen smoking tires on vehicles going up and down that hill. I have seen many pedestrians stranded in the middle as vehicles pass them by on either side.

Almost daily, I arrive at that intersection at approximately that time and repeat later that day.

I was encouraged last year to have communicated several times with MLA Eric Foster and Transportation Minister Todd Stone, eventually seeing new signage posted to replace over worn and fading signage.

I had requested the bright yellow-green signs be posted in that location as the chances of the same non-descript signage being of a benefit to driving public to notice and the walking public to rely on wouldn’t change much for the safety of either.

The threat to human life on that hill continues as we speak.

It seems like such a simple thing to remedy and give drivers and walkers a more obvious head’s up.

Yes, personal safety is expected from pedestrians but it’s a two-way street. Drivers are not yielding to pedestrians in the crosswalk. Respect goes both ways.

I often witness crossings away from the crosswalk as walkers must feel the risk is the same as at the crosswalk.

We need the transportation ministry to do the right thing. At the very least, please, put up the brightly coloured signs.

A simple demand light would be so much better but at least these signs stand out for the eye to see.

Glenna Miles



Vernon Morning Star