four main intersections in Kelowna getting upgrades to make proper turns safer

Four major intersections in Kelowna will be getting significant safety upgrades over the coming months.

The City of Kelowna announced today that it will be building “Smart Right Turns” to improve sight lines for drivers.

It allows drivers to merge safely while keeping an eye out for pedestrians.

“This is a great example of the evolution of traffic safety,” explains Chad Williams, transportation planning engineer.

“This geometric reconfiguration of right turn channels improves sightlines and simplifies the turning movement, reducing collisions.”

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<p dir=A “Smart Channel” design forces drivers to enter the cross street at a sharper angle, reducing the turn radius and forcing drivers to slow down to complete their turn.

It also means that more of the intersection and cross street is within the driver’s immediate cone of vision, which allows them to rely less on peripheral vision and a sharp left shoulder check.

Finally, the layout also positions crossing pedestrians more directly in the line of sight of oncoming vehicles, which increases their visibility for drivers.

Crews have already begun work on improvements at Gordon Drive and Clement Avenue, which is expected to be finished by mid-April.

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<p dir=The other three intersections that will be tackled in 2021 are:

  • Bernard Avenue and Spall Road
  • Clifton Road and Clement Avenue
  • Leathead Road and Hwy 97

Williams explained that ICBC contributes funding each year to road improvement projects that reduce collisions, which included more than $170,000 for Kelowna projects in 2020.

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