Hard data shows this is Burnaby’s most-lethal street for pedestrians

Chris Campbell

I drive down Hastings through Burnaby Heights far more than any other major Burnaby road and I’ve seen some heinous behaviour from drivers in relation to pedestrians.

There are so many side streets in which drivers peel out of to turn left or right onto Hastings – nearly running over pedestrians in the process.

So I was surprised when I found out that Hastings is not the most-dangerous street in Burnaby for pedestrians.

In hindsight, I shouldn’t have been surprised – it’s just that I don’t drive down Kingsway that much. I usually try to avoid it because the traffic is so heavy.

But Kingsway is far and away the worst road for pedestrians to cross in Burnaby.

That’s according to an excellent CBC story posting Friday that you can read here. They gathered up ICBC data on the most-dangerous intersections in Metro Vancouver.

The second-worst intersection – after the gong show at Main and Hastings in Vancouver – for pedestrians is actually at Lougheed and North Road. The CBC covers this intersection’s issues well.

So, I’m going to focus instead on Kingsway because it landed a whopping three intersections on the most-dangerous list.

  • Kingsway and Edmonds
  • Kingsway and Nelson
  • Kingsway and Willingdon

The Nelson and Willingdon intersections are not a surprise because they bookend Metrotown, the busiest traffic spot in the city. Many drivers who come and go from the mall are quite insane and have little regard for human life – theirs or the other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

I’ve seen every type of dangerous move along this stretch of Kingsway, including freaking U-turns in the middle of rush hour.

If it was just these reckless drivers risking their lives, that would be one thing, but it’s all the other people they are harming.

As for Edmonds, I think the issues are terrible drivers who have their awful driving skills exacerbated by a poorly designed intersection.

It’s a master class in bad planning, with weird curves and confusing signals.

People driving east on Kingsway see a road that sort of swerves instead of neatly splitting – and many drivers can’t seem to figure it out based on all the pedestrians they are hitting. And it’s only going to get worse with the new mega-towers that are nearly finished being built. More traffic equals more problems.

The whole intersection needs to be blown up.

Studying this kind of data really is useful. Please think of this when you are driving along Kingsway. Let’s try and bring back some sanity to our roads.

Or, better yet, take transit.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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