Columbia Avenue needs four lanes

After reading Gordon Turner’s column last week (‘What really grinds my gears,’ July 7) I was moved to write a comment in response to tailgating. I too have low tolerance for it but it got me thinking about the front-page article that same week (‘Bad Week for Collisions ...’) which included several crashes on Columbia Avenue.

After reading Gordon Turner’s column last week (‘What really grinds my gears,’ July 7) I was moved to write a comment in response to tailgating. I too have low tolerance for it but it got me thinking about the front-page article that same week (‘Bad Week for Collisions …’) which included several crashes on Columbia Avenue.

I think that per capita Castlegar must be the longest, thinnest town on the planet. Although there are a few sections of the corridor from Blueberry to the pulp mill that allow one car to pass another, most of the road which has to carry all traffic from one end of the city to the other is single-lane only.

I’m retired and think myself relatively patient but do find myself running out of patience after following a vehicle going 40 km/h for kilometres. At 4 p.m. when the mill is changing shift I’ve come down Columbia to see traffic backed up as far as the eye can see.

What strikes my eye is that less than half of the road surface is actually being used. The center section is for turning only and then there are two half lanes on each side too narrow for parking which go unused.

My personal preference would be to see most of the roadway go to four-lane traffic where possible. Those turning would do so from the left lane and those going through would use the right lane as is done in most places in the province. Where the roadway is too narrow to allow for four lanes then no left turns would be allowed.

That’s one idea and I’m no engineer but surely we can get better utilization out of this limited space and keep traffic moving with better efficiency.

 

Dean Carter

Castlegar