When you move to a place up on Burnaby Mountain – like I did a few years ago – you notice two things.
One: It always seems to be foggy in the morning.
Two: There are way too many ‘N’ drivers in luxury vehicles to feel comfortable.
The fog is ridiculous. I sometimes feel like I’m strolling the streets of London, England it’s so thick in the mornings. The afternoons and evenings are often not much better. This makes my killer view of Mount Baker and Burrard Inlet a bit less exciting because there are large chunks of the year when the fog blocks it. I know, poor me.
It’s a weird feeling when I’m driving down the mountain and my vehicle suddenly drops below the fog line and it’s actually sunny in the rest of Burnaby.
For the second UniverCity issue, it’s scary to drive or be a pedestrian with all of the terrible ‘N’ drivers who don’t understand the rules of the road. They also struggle to handle the power of their luxury sports cars.
But add to this the endless fog and you get a scary situation for the neighbourhood’s elementary school, called University Highlands.
On the mornings I drive by the school, I see some pretty close calls in the school zone and the main school intersection that connects the school to Nesters Market.
There’s one crosswalk to the east that has no traffic light and a couple of others that are controlled by lights.
Too many drivers either can’t see the pedestrians because of the excessive fog or they aren’t even bothering to look. When drivers are heading west, they come out of a foggy, heavily treed lane and are suddenly in front of the school.
Many of the drivers don’t bother to follow the 30 km/h speed limit. Aside from the fog, the area gets more snow and icy temperatures than the rest of Burnaby.
I don’t like blaming pedestrians for their behaviour, but occasionally I’ve seen some children – a few with parents – jaywalking in the dark and foggy conditions, despite a controlled crosswalk located just feet away.
Morning times are dangerous at any school parking lot because of drivers rushing to drop off their children. But when you add in a hill to the west of University Highlands and the fog, this school zone is Burnaby’s scariest.
I don’t think there’s much the city can do to make things safer. I’m writing this hoping that a few drivers will read it and drive with more caution.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.