Opinion: This Burnaby shortcut is actually a nasty racetrack

Chris Campbell

This blog was supposed to just be about what cyclists go through at a certain Burnaby intersection.

But a visit to the site on Monday showed me much more than I wanted to see.

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Living in North Burnaby means I don’t always see the kind of traffic issues faced by residents in South Burnaby.

Reader Patrick Parkes highlighted one area that he thinks the City of Burnaby needs to fix – and quick.

Parkes is a New Westminster residents who cycles to work most days in Burnaby. He follows Burnaby’s bike routes, but says there is a glaring glitch to be found at the intersection of Imperial and Humphries/Morley (yeah, another one of those streets that instantly becomes another street).

“A designated cycling route, Humphries requires cyclists and pedestrians to cross the often very busy Imperial, where there is no marked crosswalk and no crossing signal, and where at certain times of the day, sunlight is directly in the eyes of drivers on Imperial,” said Parkes, who has contacted the city before about making safety changes.

I checked out this intersection in the middle of the day and I can’t fathom what people actually do trying to cross during rush-hour periods.

Imperial isn’t quite a ratrunner route (although Humphries clearly is one because of the speed humps that have been installed). It’s a little too much of a main road to qualify as a ratrunner route. I’m going to call it a shortcut.

But Imperial is something else – it’s a dangerous racetrack even in the middle of the day. I watched vehicle after vehicle speeding along Imperial as they headed west to Kingsway or east to Canada Way. 

Humphries/Morley is a bike route, but damn, that’s one helluva intersection to try and cross. There’s a lot of traffic and wow, they are really bookin’ it. Even vehicles on both sides were struggling to turn onto Imperial due to the heavy traffic and the sheer speed people were driving. Maybe Imperial needs some speed humps to slow drivers down.

I’ve reached out to the city to see if there are any plans for changes at this intersection. It really needs it if the city is committed to improving its cycling infrastructure.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.

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