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October 27, 2017 11:12 pm

MLA Calls on Ministry of Transportation Following Fatal Crash

Monday, April 25, 2016 @ 6:59 AM

Prince George, B.C. – Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond has asked the  Provincial Ministry of Transportation to  see what might be done to  improve  safety at  the intersection of Highway 16 and Cowart Road  in Prince George.

That intersection was the scene of a fatal crash on Friday.  A  15 year old female, who was the passenger in an SUV,  succumbed to her injuries after that vehicle was in a collision with a pick up truck.  The 17 year old driver of the SUV and the driver of the Pick up truck  were also taken to hospital  for treatment of non life threatening injuries.

The intersection is  among the worst in Prince George for high crash rates.  According to ICBC statistics,  the intersection  of Domano and  Highway 16  had the highest number of crashes (220)  for the years 2009 to 2013, the latest year for which stats are available.

The intersection of Ferry  and Highway 16  was second on the list, with  210 crashes during the same time frame.

Highway 16 and  Cowart  was ranked as 5th  worst, with 107 crashes during that period.

MLA Bond has  requested the Ministry of Transportation  examine  possible improvements to  both the Cowart/16  intersection and the Ferry /16 intersection.

It is possible  ICBC  could  work with the Ministry of Transportation to make  improvements to those two intersections.  Just last week,  ICBC  noted it had  worked with the Ministry  to make improvements to two other areas of concern in Prince George,  namely the  acceleration and deceleration lanes  on Highway 16 westbound at  the Prince George Playhouse,  and the installation of traffic lights at  Victoria and 9th Avenues.


Why does someone has to die before they see there is a problem. On all major highways going through the city you should not be able to make the left turn on a solid green light. New drivers can’t judge the speed very good of the vehicle coming from the front. You should only be able to to turn on advance arrow only. Highway 97 running north and south in the bowl area you can not turn left unless you have advance turn signal and the traffic is less than Ferry/16 highway and cowart road /16 highway.
I have asked the city to put up school zone 30kms for 3 blocks in front of Duchess Park and come up with some **** answer that they have to move the traffic in and out of downtown with a single lane. What about our kids safety? 300 of the cross Winnipeg street to get lunch. I will garenttee you this the kid gets killed crossing Winnipeg Street by the school the city will put up a 30kms. It shouldn’t have to happen.

Edited for language

A fairly simple fix would be to have the left turn light and when it turns red, left turning traffic waits until the left turn light changes to green again. Taking the blind faith that no one is coming out of the equation. One big sign stating the rule would begin to save lives and damages.

So sad that children are loosing their life due to a hastily made decision.

Traffic congestion and safety at HWY 16 and Domano, Vance, Ferry and 97, could all be improved by finishing the Ospika extension. What is the plan to finish Ospika? When is it going to be done?

    This would be the number one thing they could do to improve safety.

    I think the main reason Ospika connection hasn’t been completed is that the businesses at the College Heights shopping area want the through traffic to see them. Same goes for the bypass. All those businesses want the traffic slowed to show themselves to traffic. That’s why there is no steady green lights for traffic moving through town.
    Its all politics folks and politics trumps lives and efficiency every time.

      Conspiracy theories, highways department couldn’t care less about businesses and how they feel.

      Case in point – they will not allow an exit to the mall off Highway 16 right after the turnoff to the new Sandman Hotel. The road is there right by the Integris drive through on the mall side but there are plans to change Highway 16 traffic in the future so nothing is allowed for now.

      The synchronizing of lights is where the city does fail. The length of each light is different based on the pressure pad sensors under the roadway all over town (or the motion sensors mounted to the light).

It’s more than just judging the speed of oncoming traffic at 16 & Cowart. There is no problem when you are turning left off Hwy16 heading west as you can see all the oncoming traffic coming down the hill but when you turn left off Hwy16 heading east oncoming traffic is hard to see. Often there is someone in the left hand turn lane and because the road curves going past Costco the oncoming vehicles are obscured by the vehicles waiting in that lane.

ht tps://www.250news.com/2013/06/04/domano-and-hwy-16-no-longer-the-worst-intersection-in-pg/

Note the top crashes are at intersections where highways intersect city streets, not just these 3 intersections. Short of overpasses you are not going to stop the carnage. Note the number one intersection in 2012 for crashes was where the two highways intersect – which has dedicated turn lanes in all directions.

Finish the Ospika connector and traffic to Upper College Heights and Walmart can take an optional and safer route. There is an overpass planned over the highway that is why the lot beside Visions is empty, use the funds from the feds to finally finish this needed piece of road

It is amazing how long it takes to get the attention of those who are in charge of making the final decisions regarding safety issues! It is hard to fathom why 2013 is the latest year for which ICBC has statistics for the Domano/ Highway 16 intersection! How many years does it take to add up the numbers for 2014 and 2015?

The solution to make left turn flashing arrows turn solid red after all through traffic gets the green light has been publicly discussed for years! Why has it not been implemented?

Both highway 97 North through town and highway 16 within city limits need a complete technical and engineering review in respect to lack of proper length right turn lanes and traffic light control method. It appears that traffic lights are controlled by a combination of timers and motion detectors. No effort has been made to link traffic lights on Central so traffic can flow more smoothly as a result of what is known as a Green Wave!

Logging trucks and chip trucks routinely go through red lights as it is often impossible for them to come to a screeching stop during the short time amber lights are on just before red. The suggestion has been made that green light should start to flash a few seconds BEFORE the lights change to amber! But, nobody seems to be willing or able to take any action.

Hate to say it but its a little too late.They knew this intersection was a problem based on the numbers but delayed taking action. Its hard to say if a simple light change fix may have prevented the outcome of the most recent incident considering accidents have multiple contributing factors. However i believe in the long run if it prevented just one accident then that money would be well spent.

Its time to take a serious look at how to do risk assessments on these high frequency intersections and start making immediate changes where possible.


I appreciate the call by our MLA to improve safety. Anyone else contact the Ministry of Transportation about their concerns? I did.

I think the reason that the traffic is allowed to turn on green after the turning light ends is to prevent turning traffic from backing up into the left through lane over a couple of cycles. When the turning lane onto Domano from 16 west was a single turning lane there were multiple serious multi vehicle rear end collisions every year. If a similar thing were to happen at Vance/Cowart with loaded logging and chip trucks bombing down the hill I know I would not want to be stuck in the through lane waiting to turn into Costco.

It has been suggested that an interchange be put in but with such a restricted space at the bottom of the hill I don’t think there is enough room. An underpass is a possibility with turning traffic directed to the underpass from the right hand lane.

In my opinion the best solution would be a round-about so traffic, especially the big rigs, do not have to stop at all. Hard part will be teaching some local drivers to used a double lane round-about after some of the mayhem when the single lane one wes installed on the Hart. When driving through the UK went through ton of them and after paying special attention to the first couple found them very easy to use.

One more suggestion when driving straight through on this and Ferry intersections and there is a car waiting to turn is to glace to see if the driver is looking at the light above them or the one at ground level in the left island. If they are looking straight up better be ready to throw out an anchor.

    I think a Roundabout ( Calming Circle )might be a solution for this Intersection.There is limited space to add Lanes or extend left turn lanes but maybe enough room for a Calming Circle.You would also have to put in a Pedestrian Overpass.They have a calming circle in Clearwater on Hwy. 5.Seems to keep the Traffic flowing……

A big part of the problem there is no warning when the lights will change. Take Range and 16 there is a warning light coming down the hill but not on the eastern side heading west. Most of the collisions happen with traffic heading west, well duh. So with that no warning I find myself and most likely others watching the light and not the intersection so much.

Yes it costs money to put up stand alone warning lights but in Europe the traffic signals start to blink for extra warning before changing. I brought this up with some highways bureaucrat in town here a few years ago and his brush off was drivers would find that confusing!

Accident areas have to get upto a death injury quotient before changes are made.

    “Yes it costs money to put up stand alone warning lights but in Europe the traffic signals start to blink for extra warning before changing.”

    I agree wholeheartedly! Not only in Europe! In some Asian countries they have a large digital read-out count-down timer next to the traffic lights to indicate how many seconds are left before a light times out and changes! They also have these digital indicators for pedestrian crossings at intersections! One knows if there are enough seconds left to safely cross even before entering a crosswalk!

    We are certainly not up to the latest, that’s for sure!

      Have ” COUNT DOWN ” traffic lights in Saskatoon, really help move traffic and you don’t see much intersection blocking,

      Most of the major intersections in Ottawa have the count down timers as well. I think the main purpose is to let pedestrians know how long they have before the light changes, but they are visible enough to provide drivers with the same information. They go from the “solid white man” to a flashing count down timer. When the number hits zero, the light goes yellow.

      They work great. As a driver, it gives you a solid visual clue to know what is going on at the intersection and it helps you figure out when the light is going to change and/or if your current speed is going to put you in that intersection when the change is occurring.

      I agree with PMack. In my experience, they definitely help ensure that the intersection is clear.

My heart goes out to the family of this young lady.
This is intersection was quite controversial when the smarter people said there would be taffic lights installed and would be safe. I truly hope you engineers can look at yourself in the mirror and say this wasn’t very well thought out. While not fully blaming the engineers there has to be some accountability in life. We haven’t been giving the details of this incident as of yet but anytime traffic is impeded by having to stop completely after descending a fairly steep grade there is going to be issues, especially in winter months. From the stats I’m hearing it’s pretty much much taking your chances now to get out of pg heading west. Quite easily to throw out quickie patch jobs at the intersections with various light alterations and point fingers at the commercial traffic but bottom line is this was pathetic planing .
Oh btw, in my personal opinion this area has the the highest percentage of unskilled drivers in the city.

Every day I go through there somebody almost kills themselves turning left on a green. Not because you ‘can’ turn left, but because they take very risky chances. Chip trucks blocking the view for left turning traffic in both directions. Little cars can’t see over the F350’s. It’s just not a good spot to turn left on a green, no matter what.

Feel so bad for the family of this young girl, and the young driver. Also the poor guy that hit her probably is devastated. Just awful. all around.

Oh, and a little scummy of Bond to start appealing to the govt after a young girl dies, where was she at all the other fatalities? Disgusting.

I think Leroyjenkins pegged it properly.

Sadly, this takes experience which these victims did not have or exercise.

In addition a green light means little, heading west at that intersection with vehicles waiting to turn on to Cowart can block ones vision of the eastbound turning lane on #16 to Vance RD.

So if sight lines are not clear extra caution must be exercised which includes reduced speed.

Just add the extra light that Stops traffic from turning left after those motorists had their chance to get through,thats all it needs! We don’t need to spend thousands upon thiuaands or millions to do anything but add a traffic light. Do that at Ferry in both directions as well! The lanes for turning left are already there so extended the traffic light fixture over to the left. Simple simple simple.

When are they going to learn how to drive in Prince George ?

    She was 17 you piece of garbage, ever make a mistake at any point in your life? Enjoy mocking a young girl who just had her best friend die next to her? Hell has a special place for you.

      no one has said the 17 year old even made a mistake,
      it could well have been the other driver’s fault or someone not even involved could have been the whole problem….
      but I agree there is a special place for some people.

    Try to show a bit of respect and class.. You disgust me.

    Retired you are a prize alright, the big stink can have you.

    Retired 02, it was only a week or so ago that you made another stupid comment about drivers in Prince George.

    In response to your uneducated comment, I posted recent accident statistics for you, comparing Abbotsford with Prince George.

    Unfortunately you didn’t bother to read them!

    Obviously you prefer to remain ill-informed and uneducated!

MLA Shirley Bond — I might add that we do not need any more lip service on these issues. What we need is action now not later. I also was wondering if our Premier Clark was impressed with all the the line marking that is done in this City. It does not appear to be a safety issue also. ICBC rates going up all the time so maybe they could supply the paint.

    Have you seen the millions of dollars fixing up west Kelowna ? She’s also helping to keep the traffic numbers up at the airport . Our taxes working hard in crustys riding . Nice change from everything going to 604 .

I feel sorry for the families who will be dealing with this loss for a lifetime.

I am disgusted that Bond needs someone to die before she does anything..

To have a green left turn light means they have to extend the left turn lane on HWY 16 to accommodate at least a dozen more cars. If that would have been done 10 years ago. I bet the crash statistics for that intersection would have been cut in half. Like many posters above stated. Even in my truck I have a hard time seeing whats coming eastbound if I’m in the turn lane. Add in the extra speed that the big rigs are building up for the run up the hill doesn’t help either. My thoughts go out to the girls family and all the injured.

Remember the arms race. I wonder if PG doesn’t have it’s own little arms race going. Take a look at how many pick up trucks there are in this town. I just came back from the Fraser Valley and pickup trucks were the exception, here they are the rule. And I think I have part of the reason. At the end of the day, the vehicle with the most mass has the best chance of occupant survival. The vehicle with the best visibility, has the best chance of avoiding an accident. I know this to be true, because I surrendered, got rid of my fuel efficient SUV, and bought a truck. And ever since I got a truck, I get tailgated less, I get cut off less, I see more. The problem is, with so many large vehicles running around now, mistakes are much more serious.

I wonder if this has something to do with, since the police won’t protect me, I’ll protect myself.

This particular accident the intersection certainly has a role to play, but someone did something wrong, or it never would have happened. And everyday the drivers of PG take gambles, and sometimes the numbers don’t come out in your favor. So, get into the biggest vehicle you can afford, so that if the numbers come up short, you walk away.

    Obviously pickup trucks are more rampant here considering the industry, the roads and conditions. Are you just new here or something?

      Yeah, just got off the boat. Come on, take a look in any parking lot. 1 out of 3 are trucks. You telling me 33% of the workforce is in the bush every day? You saying all those pretty trucks with detailing are banging around in the mud. Sure, some of it would be explained by our location, but not all of it. And yeah, road conditions probably does play a factor – i.e., we share the roads with logging and chip trucks, so if you want to stay alive, drive a pick up, not a prius.

      Truck or car makes little difference when in a collision with a highway tractor. Even a pickup gets outweighed 60-1. When a truck hardly outweighs a car 2-1 it puts it all in a little bit of perspective.

      This accident at Peden Hill involved a trailer loaded right up with sand… I think the trailer was at least double its legal limit, but how does one even check that sort of thing in a cross town delivery. For sure if one has that weight it ain’t stopping fast no matter what and is a big reason it pushed the van like it was nothing. Only the light standard hooking the trailer stopped it all from going into the Chinese restaurant another couple hundred feet away.

    I was in Edmonton recently and was taken aback at the lack of trucks in that City. It was a rare sighting to see a nice truck. Most drove small imports. I bet there are more trucks in PG than Edmonton. I also noticed fancy condo towers and almost no one could afford balcony furniture. I think it comes down to disposable income more than anything.

I would like to see an overpass/underpass so there is no intersection at the bottom of that hill. It’s a nightmare with the big trucks going through especially for the trucks having to stop at the bottom, and crawl up. In the winter there are always trucks jack knifing.

Ospika needs to be finished. We have the three major entrances into College Heights converge into one bottle neck. Every winter there are incidents making it hell to get back into College Heights.

At least the Hart has two very different access points.

    Agree completely. There needs to be an overpass/underpass at that location.

      I have called for an overpass at that location (Peden Hill) and Ospika for nearly ten years now. Most recently I argued the point that these should be the highest priority for the new city council during the last election,but not one councillor agreed this should be a municipal priority.

      I don’t know how daft our leaders really are, but to me it seems these are exactly the kind of project ready infrastructure issues Trudeau was calling for and yet our mayor was talking to him about a PAC when he had the chance to sell real infrastructure needs for the city.

      I last argued the case for an overpass and closing down the left turn lanes at Cowart only two or three Friday free for alls ago. I know others feel the same way but our elected leaders continue to fail us by stepping up and advocating he needs of this city and region.

      It should be a top Pacific Gateway priority considering the bottle neck issues alone.

In this town, flashing green lights and/or countdown timers would only tell drivers to speed up because the light is about to change.

Over/under pass at all intersections of hwy. and city.
Costs a lot, yes, but in the long term, there would be very few accidents at these intersections, and hwy. traffic flows more efficiently.
Not to mention less fuel consumed, no more stopping and starting every 1/2 mile.

    True no intersection = no intersection crash. They have done it all through Highway 1 in Vancouver.
    But we would still be left with the intersection with the most crashes per year in PG – where highway 16 crosses highway 97.

    In that breath maybe a dangerous goods route around the city? Make Foothills join Highway 16 and a bridge across the Fraser at the Old Cariboo Highway, a bridge from 97 south to Highway 16 west across the nechako in the BCR… We just don’t have the population to require these until something bad happens and it gets brought to the limelight.

Our hwy system is no more dangerous than firearms. They both just sit there waiting for humans to get involved.

A bunch oh “Bush Bunnies” learning to drive. I have lived in Abbotsford for four years, drive the City streets every day and have never seen an accident.

It takes you people in George 10 minutes to get across town and you think you know how to drive. Your attitude shine loud and clear of your respect for the next person. No tolerance is a big problem when it comes to others and driving habits. Give me a break.


You are delusional as well as rude and disrespectful. I too live in Abbotsford, 7 years, and am a PG expat. Every day I see driving incidents here that make me shake my head. Inconsiderate drivers that lane switch in front of you, follow on your bumper, swing wide across two lanes entering a busy road, and that’s just the small stuff. And don’t even start on the freeway twits!

BTW ski, whan I first moved here, I couldn’t believe the number of big shiny pick-ups. And Hummers!

I see you still don’t have a hobby O2 .Sad sad man you are.

As they say “you can’t fix stupid”. We can be thankful he no longer lives here.

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