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Calls for traffic lights at 'dangerous intersection' on Vancouver's steepest street

Residents living at the bottom of Vancouver’s steepest street say it’s becoming increasingly dangerous, and they’re calling on the city to install traffic lights before someone is seriously hurt.

Jelena Brcic has only lived at the corner of Oak Street and West 6th Avenue for 11 months, but said she’s already seen half a dozen crashes.

“(Drivers) ending up on the sidewalk, people hitting our building, people sliding through the intersection,” Brcic said. “I think it’s a really dangerous intersection not to be controlled by something more than a stop sign that gets treated as a yield sign.”

The most recent accident happened Monday, when a driver somehow mounted the curb and hit a concrete garden in front of Brcic’s building. No one was seriously injured.

Partho Ghosh lives across the street and said he always carries a bright yellow umbrella when walking on the 6th Avenue footpath with his daughter, so as to be seen by drivers.

“There’s multiple times where we’ve almost been hit,” Ghosh said. “It’s so much traffic all the time but people don’t treat it as a residential area.”

Residents believe the volume of traffic along West 6th Avenue has increased since construction of the Broadway subway project, with drivers avoiding West Broadway.

Ghosh said his strata president has previously written to the City of Vancouver requesting traffic lights be installed, but that was rejected.

“They said that because it’s a major artery, and a point for traffic, they don’t want to slow and dismiss the flow of 6th Avenue,” he said, adding that lights are already in place two blocks west on 6th. “I don't see why this (intersection) can’t have one too.”

In a statement, the City of Vancouver said traffic signals are not typically used as a tool to manage speed.

“As such, we are not planning to install a signal to address speed at this location,” the statement said, in part. “We are aware, however, that there are concerns about speed on (West 6th Avenue) and would recommend reaching out to the VPD for more information on their speed education and enforcement efforts in that area of the city.” Top Stories

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