Opinion: Struggling semis blowing up Burnaby commutes

Chris Campbell

The commute through Burnaby has been a gong show the past two days, with multiple major incidents.

Most of these incidents involved those huge semi-trailer vehicles struggling in snowy and icy conditions.

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On Tuesday morning, there were three major incidents on Highway 1, with two involving semis.

One took place in the middle lane east of Kensington after a semi stalled – congratulations on winning the bad-timing award.

Earlier in the morning a semi was blocking the left and middle lanes on Highway 1 at Sprott. A third incident involved some cars east of Gaglardi Way on Highway 1. These incidents led to long delays for commuters.

This incident involving a semi happened at Sprott on Highway 1 in Burnaby. DriveBC photo

On Monday, there were a couple of morning incidents involving semis in Burnaby on Highway 1. None, of course, were as bad as what happened east of Burnaby at 264th, where a semi got itself wedged in an overpass.

I was personally stuck behind a semi on Brighton Avenue, just south of Lougheed, when a semi jackknifed going up a small hill.

So, what to make out of all of these incidents involving semis? Sure, other drivers have been getting stuck in these conditions, but when a semi-driver does it, the damage to a commute is devastating.

One view is that road crews are not doing enough sanding, salting and plowing to keep our roads safe. But considering how much snow fell, perhaps it’s too hard to keep up with the snow. The provincial trucking association is speaking out, saying the roads weren’t being properly taken care of in the past few days.

semi stuck
DriveBC photo

The other view is many truck drivers aren’t skilled enough to drive in these conditions.

I don’t think other drivers really care who is to blame – they are just fed up with having their commutes ruined by all of these semis blocking traffic.

The Minister of Transportation will need to be open and accountable when it reviews what’s happened this week.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44




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