Vancouver is a beautiful, safe and pleasant city. However, there are places you had better try to avoid—for example, three intersections on Broughton Street in Coal Harbour. In particular, those with W Pender, W Georgia and Alberni Streets are dangerous. They are (potential) widowmakers, widowermakers or any other kind of makers with negative meaning.
It is not clear how many people have been killed there in car accidents, or wounded, or have just wrecked their cars, but it is almost certain that the car crashes will continue.
Crossing any of those intersections on Broughton Street uphill makes you an adventurous person. Each of them has a stop sign, but when you stop at it, you can barely see down the street you are crossing. If you are lucky, and there is a pedestrian who pushes the button to get the green light for them (and automatically for you too), you can congratulate yourself. Otherwise you have to get out of your car and push the button, or just take a risk and cross the street. Most drivers choose to take the risk.
On Thursday, January 14, people living near the intersection of Broughton and Alberni thought another earthquake had just begun. When a big bang was followed by rattling noises and another bang, it was clear something was not all right outside. Curious heads immediately started leaning out of the windows to see that a small van had flipped over on Alberni Street. “It was bleeding gas.” Twenty metres away, another damaged car had stopped in the middle of the intersection. You didn’t need to be a genius to figure out that one car was driving on Broughton Street crossing Alberni and the second car was heading straight on Alberni. The driver on Broughton did not notice the second car—a very typical scenario on Broughton indeed.
Such accidents will continue happening there until the city finds a better solution for traffic on these intersections. Perhaps there is an option of installing sensors to monitor cars on Broughton Street. The sensors, depending on traffic, could then turn the lights red on W Pender, W Georgia and Alberni. That would probably be the best thing.
The City of Vancouver is a leader in high-tech solutions in Canada. Hopefully it will come up with an idea, so we won’t need to call these intersections widowmakers, widowermakers or any other kind of makers with negative meaning.
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