Dear Editor:

I want to enlarge on Art Basham’s response to John Thomas of Okanagan Falls because I too feel Thomas’s opinions were presented without much in the way of experience, evidence, or historical knowledge (Courier, Aug, 16, Aug. 22).

While Thomas is correct in asserting that the highway bypasses Beach Avenue, the street on which the town’s businesses are located, aside from Peachland mall, much of his argument warrants disagreement.

For one thing, I have to wonder if Thomas has made his journeys through Peachland somewhere between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. Otherwise, he would have experienced the linear parking lot that can exist on either side of the traffic lights at the Clements Crescent (the mall access) and 13th Street intersections.

And while on that subject, the exit from the mall also used to be a harrowing experience before they finally installed the traffic light at Clements Crescent a few years back. Both council and the highways ministry pointed fingers at each other for years, arguing who should pay what for the light. It took an unsurprising traffic fatality to finally galvanize someone into action.

Now we have government traffic “experts” going on about “ no traffic problems until 2040” or some such nonsense.

We live approximately above The Terraces and share those residents’ concerns. The access to the highway off Trepanier Road can be difficult due to the blind curves in both north and south directions. However, the advantage is the 70 km/h speed limit, assuming drivers actually obey it. (Not all that common in my experience.)

The other highway access at the north end of Huston Road is much more difficult. Not only is it in a 90 km/h zone, a limit enthusiastically exceeded by many drivers (especially those from another province who shall remain nameless), people going northbound off Buchanan Road directly across from Huston Road do so with nothing more than a cursory shoulder check to see if their way is clear of northbound traffic without a thought or care for anyone attempting to access the highway off Huston. Some of them don’t even stop before proceeding. Do we need to have another traffic death at those locations before something is done? 

I sometimes follow the southbound route and U turn at the mall. I have friends who live further up Trepanier Bench who have thrown up their hands and travel up to the connector entrance to continue into West Kelowna during the summer.

Let’s maintain some perspective in this debate. But let’s also maintain reality.