NORTH VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Minor crashes causing gridlock on the Ironworkers Memorial and Lions Gate Bridges have prompted changes aimed at boosting response times. The District of North Vancouver says it’s working with various partners to keep traffic moving.
Chief Administrative Officer David Stuart says some improvements have already been made.
“We expect the balance of them to be rolled out, for the most part, by the end of the year. We’ve had an increase of volume on the [Ironworkers Memorial Bridge] of about 8.1 per cent between 2012 and 2016. [Crews are] estimating we could see as high as a 25 per cent reduction in accidents.”
Vancouver Fire Captain Jonathan Gormick says first responders are also helping cut down how long it takes for them to clear a crash scene.
“We have radio channels that are dedicated to those bridges — allowing us to directly communicate with the crews from other municipalities that might be responding to either receive information on them, on what we’re attending and whether we’re needed or what the best routes of access are. We’re always looking at whether it’s a formal solution that’s documented that becomes procedure or whether it’s just an informal agreement. For example, about Second Narrows Bridge staging a second location until we’ve had an update from the district’s fire [department] or that they’ll do the same.”
Meanwhile, ICBC‘s Joanna Linsangan is reminding drivers to move damaged cars to a safe place, if possible.
“Sometimes, there simply isn’t a safe place to pull over where the crash happened, so that’s why, if you drive further away from the scene, that’s perfectly fine. We encounter claims like that all the time and we never have a problem gathering evidence or investigating those claims. It’s against the law to flee the scene of a crash, but this is a very different scenario. You’re simply moving out of harm’s way to prevent another crash from happening or further harming yourself.”
Stuart adds some changes were implemented last month and by June, we should have a better idea how they’re working.
“We also have a transportation steering committee, North Shore Transportation Steering Committee that consists of the North Shore municipalities, the MLAs, TransLink and the Ministry of Transportation. We’re looking at all kinds of short and long-term ways to improve mobility on and off the North Shore.”
He adds signs have already been posted reminding drivers to move their cars to dedicated pull-outs on either side of the bridges if no one has been hurt or the damage isn’t serious.