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Left turn signals are coming

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Left turn signals are coming

Postby oneh2obabe » Oct 23rd, 2012, 4:26 pm

Saving lives in West Kelowna
Wayne Moore - Story: 82235
Oct 23, 2012 / 11:32 am

The District of West Kelowna can scratch left turn signals off its wish list.

The Ministry of Transportation has been working for the better part of a week to install left turn signals at two key intersections along Highway 97.

According to Mayor Doug Findlater, there are more to come.

The current work is being done at Bartley Road and Gellatly Road intersections.

Findlater says both should be ready to go soon.

The mayor agrees these left turn signals, which will be active for traffic getting off and onto the highway, will save lives.
"We've seen that with the light at Westlake/Hudson. It's a much safer intersection," says Findlater.

"I won't say completely safe but it's much safer than before and quite frankly that has become such a favoured intersection for left turns."

Findlater believes once left turn lights are installed at intersections further down the highway, the congestion at Hudson will likely be alleviated.

Some of that congestion will also be lessened once construction on Boucherie Road near Highway 97 is complete in mid November.

Findlater says more left turn lights are on the books for next year as well.

He says Daimler is scheduled for next year while Ross Road is expected to be done in 2013 or 2014.

"Ross Road will become critical to have advanced left turns with the new transit exchange being constructed next to the Super 8 Motel," says Findlater.

"The buses are going to have to make that left turn to get to that (transit exchange). In fact, the reason that is being delayed is because there may be an opportunity to ask BC Transit to contribute to the cost of that."

West Kelowna and the province are sharing the cost of the left turn lights at Bartley Road 50/50 while the cost of the lights at Gellatly are being split three ways with the municipality and Westbank First Nation each kicking in 25 per cent of that cost.

Findlater says further improvements are also in the works at the dangerous intersection with Highway 97 and Grizzly Road.
"The ministry contacted me and there is money for improvements at Grizzly. They are going to change the turn movement," says Findlater.

"There is no light thank goodness but, I think they are looking at making sure there is no straight through (traffic) at that intersecftion."

http://www.castanet.net/edition/news-st ... .htm#82235
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby Bsuds » Oct 23rd, 2012, 4:27 pm

Now if we can only get the drivers to pay attention to them!
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby Glacier » Oct 23rd, 2012, 4:34 pm

I think they need to put a warning sign in Sicamous.

WARNING VANCOUVER BOUND TRAVELERS: Turning left here means you will be confronted with 38 sets of traffic lights - many of them with left turn lanes. Happy travelling. MUHAHAHAHA!
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby Queen K » Oct 23rd, 2012, 5:55 pm

38? Only? From there to Van?

You counted? :137:
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby kumazatheef » Oct 23rd, 2012, 10:51 pm

oneh2obabe wrote:Findlater believes once left turn lights are installed at intersections further down the highway, the congestion at Hudson will likely be alleviated.


Sounds like someone needs to get out and drive more often. Going towards Kelowna the Hudson intersection rarely poses a problem, but heading the other direction always causes problems ... which is before the string of lights ... so how can lights after help the light before?
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby dodgerdodge » Oct 24th, 2012, 7:05 am

kumazatheef wrote:
oneh2obabe wrote:Findlater believes once left turn lights are installed at intersections further down the highway, the congestion at Hudson will likely be alleviated.


Sounds like someone needs to get out and drive more often. Going towards Kelowna the Hudson intersection rarely poses a problem, but heading the other direction always causes problems ... which is before the string of lights ... so how can lights after help the light before?


Its funny because there was a poll in the paper about a week or so ago asking people if they thought traffic flow would improve once turn signals were installed and a whopping 70% said "YES"
These people obviously don't use the road during busy times. Yes it helps people who are turning left but completely snags traffic on the highway. Now we don't just have a left turn at Bartley from the highway we also have left turns from Bartley onto the highway so interesting to see what happens there.
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby keeny » Oct 24th, 2012, 8:56 am

Pro-tip: the only time you should run a yellow ( and even then...) is if you can clear the intersection while it is STILL yellow, and without accelerating.

If less people pinned it through lights to save 30 seconds of their precious life, we'd actually save precious lives.

But your time is too important to consider the people turning, isn't it? Instead they are forced to pretty much wait until the light is red for a shot to turn, and then 3 people go ahead and run the red to turn, which is a whole other problem.

Turning signals alleviate both, I think, and I welcome them, despite the wait times added for people going straight through.
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby JoePlanner » Oct 24th, 2012, 9:05 am

I get the back and forth chat about will they or will they not alleviate congestion, but we all know the decision has nothing to do with congestion. It has everything to do with Okanagan drivers slamming into each other and killing drivers with risky suicide left turns. The costs to society of 5 (a guess) dead folks from left turn impacts in West Kelowna over the past half decade or so is really ridiculous and has to be reduced.
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby Fancy » Oct 24th, 2012, 9:08 am

When the overhead lights are flashing you have time to stop. A driver must not drive through a yellow light - you are required to stop (unless it is unsafe to do so). I think left hand turn signals are great and long overdue.
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby Glacier » Oct 24th, 2012, 9:37 am

Queen K wrote:38? Only? From there to Van?

You counted? :137:

Yes, but I messed up. I meant to say 48, but it turns out the the actual number is 46 (thank you GordonH for the correction). I'm counting Merritt to Sicamous and excluding the Sicamous light.

Let's put 46 highway in perspective for a moment. If you were to drive from Vancouver to Montreal, on the Transcanada, you could probably do it in under 47 traffic lights (I'm too lazy to count). I know that from Kelowna to Kenora (more than 2000 km), more than half the traffic lights were BC. Heck, most of them were probably in the Okanagan.

Let's assume there are 47 traffic lights from Burnaby to Montreal (4700 km) and 47 traffic lights from Sicamous to Merritt (250 km).

Burnaby to Montreal = 1 traffic light every 100 km.
Sicamous to Merritt (via Kelowna) = 1 traffic light every 5 km. OUCH!
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby kumazatheef » Oct 24th, 2012, 2:22 pm

keeny wrote:Pro-tip: the only time you should run a yellow ( and even then...) is if you can clear the intersection while it is STILL yellow, and without accelerating.


FALSE! ... and that's part of the misconception. Per the MVA in the section on Yellow Lights:

128 (1) When a yellow light alone is exhibited at an intersection by a traffic control signal, following the exhibition of a green light,
(a) the driver of a vehicle approaching the intersection and facing the yellow light must cause it to stop before entering the marked crosswalk on the near side of the intersection, or if there is no marked crosswalk, before entering the intersection, unless the stop cannot be made in safety,


So, you must stop, unless it's unsafe to do so.
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby French Castanut » Oct 26th, 2012, 10:51 am

Glacier wrote:
Queen K wrote:38? Only? From there to Van?

You counted? :137:

Yes, but I messed up. I meant to say 48, but it turns out the the actual number is 46 (thank you GordonH for the correction). I'm counting Merritt to Sicamous and excluding the Sicamous light.

Let's put 46 highway in perspective for a moment. If you were to drive from Vancouver to Montreal, on the Transcanada, you could probably do it in under 47 traffic lights (I'm too lazy to count). I know that from Kelowna to Kenora (more than 2000 km), more than half the traffic lights were BC. Heck, most of them were probably in the Okanagan.

Let's assume there are 47 traffic lights from Burnaby to Montreal (4700 km) and 47 traffic lights from Sicamous to Merritt (250 km).

Burnaby to Montreal = 1 traffic light every 100 km.
Sicamous to Merritt (via Kelowna) = 1 traffic light every 5 km. OUCH!


Actually, you have LOTS of traffic lights from Montreal to Kenora ON. Starting from MTL, you take Highway 15N, then it becomes Route 117, and it crosses every freakin village in the Laurentides, including traffic lights and 50k zones. Mont Laurier has lots of traffic lights, then you arrive in Val d'or, which has a bypass, then it's Malartic, then it's Rouyn-Noranda, LOTS of lights there too, then New Liskeard TONS of lights, then Cochrane, Kapuskasing, Hearst to name just a few with lots of lights on Highway 11 to call it a highway... One lane only, with trucks every meter, speed limit 90k when you're not in a 50k zone, you need to do a lot of passing to get going.

Then you're good for 500km to Thunder Bay on the one lane highway, then you cross Dryden, which has lots of lights. Then Kenora has a bypass, as does Winnipeg.

Praries has lots of roads crossing the highway, with only a few lights from Winnipeg to Medicine Hat. Medicine Hat has lots of lights. Then not much lights from there to Golden. You're good from Golden to Revelstoke and past Revelstoke turning on H97A you get lots of it and low speed limits but a super nice view to enjoy.
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby Glacier » Oct 26th, 2012, 10:59 am

Medicine hat has lots of lights? Ha, not if you stay on the highway.
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby Joe Public » Nov 2nd, 2012, 12:38 pm

I should point out one issue here.

The highway signals are coordinated. Relatively speaking, for every second dedicated to left turns, you take away a second from the highway straight through movement. A left turn movement typically takes 7 to 15 seconds, which means that there will be 7 to 15 seconds less time on the highway. With these new left turns, traffic on the highway will back up, which is why the MOT is so hesitant to install left turns.

Be careful what you wish for.
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Re: Left turn signals are coming

Postby LeadingEdgeGlass » Nov 2nd, 2012, 1:04 pm

Understanding how long the line of traffic takes to get from Boucherie (or bridge hill sometimes) to Hudson Rd, it should be accepted that people waiting @ the lights on Hudson/Westlake can wait an extra few minutes to allow the highway an extra minute or two of flowing traffic.

It takes a while for traffic to get up to speed after stopping at Hudson intersection... just another 20-30 seconds of green light could improve traffic IMMENSELY.


Next time you're waiting in the lineup at Hudson, count the seconds that the light stays green for... It's not very long.
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