A Salmon Arm resident who said he was nearly hit by a vehicle recently is continuing his call for a safer crossing at the intersection of Fifth Avenue SW and Third Street SW.
The intersection is near the Salvation Army building on one side of Fifth and the relatively new Canadian Mental Health Association and BC Housing buildings on the other side.
David Harding said he was crossing from the Salvation Army side of Fifth on Sunday, May 29 about 3:30 p.m. He had just been talking to friends and was carrying two bags of groceries.
Partway across, he could hear a vehicle coming his way, fast. He looked up in time to realize the vehicle, pulling a travel trailer, was not going to stop.
“I didn’t know which way to go because, by this time, I could see him and he was doing one of these,” Harding said, gesturing as if he was moving a steering wheel back and forth. “He didn’t know what he was doing.”
He said he could hear his friend yelling from behind as she witnessed the incident.
The driver narrowly missed him and kept going, he said, not putting on the brakes, not slowing down.
“I got to the wellness centre and my legs were shaking. I never slept that night because I thought, ‘wow, did I do the right thing or didn’t I do the right thing?’ But I didn’t know what he was going to do.”
Harding said he was wearing a red shirt and was surprised he wasn’t seen.
He said he has predicted that someone was going to get killed in the intersection. “But I didn’t think I was on the tag that day.”
The road was a go-through road years ago, he said, but now there are cement trucks and everything else travelling through a residential area with kids, seniors, and people going to work, school and shop.
He suggested that adding a couple of ‘slow to 30 km/hr’ signs and painting the crosswalk would be a good start.
Rob Niewenhuizen, the city’s director of engineering and public works, said the city was advised of the near miss.
He said intersection improvements are being recommended for the 2023 budget deliberations and will be subject to council’s approval.
“This intersection has been reviewed previously by our Traffic Safety Committee, which includes representatives from Ministry of Transportation, ICBC, RCMP and City staff,” he wrote in an email. “Our review noted that the highest level of concern is the width of the crossing and speed of traffic.”
Niewenhuizen said improvements would likely include traffic calming measures and ways to reduce the crossing distance.
“The improvements may include sidewalk corner bump outs which would provide more visibility of pedestrians using the crosswalk and reduce the crossing distance. A good example of this is at the intersection on 10th Street SE by Canadian Tire at Piccadilly Mall.”
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