The latest crash at an accident-prone downtown intersection has City staff searching for answers.
Reflective panels and better signs are among options the City could use to curb what traffic engineer Chris Darwent says is an unnecessary number of accidents at Seymour Street and Seventh Avenue.
"Everything is in place that should be. There's nice clear stop signs, oversized signs, but people keep going through them," Darwent said Monday.
Those who live and work near the downtown intersection believe the City needs to go a step further and install a traffic light before someone is killed.
Donna Gardener, a bookkeeper at Sleep Apnea Home Oxygen on Seymour, said vehicles whip down the one-way street at 90 km/h and often don't stop for pedestrians.
And motorists ignore the stop signs on Seventh, said Rachel de Kerf, Sleep Apnea's medical office assistant. They either come to a rolling stop before speeding across Seymour or don't stop at all.
"People really whip down this road. Even as a pedestrian to cross, you really have to make sure they're seeing you," she said.
The City called a meeting of its traffic advisory committee for Thursday morning following the latest accident at the downtown intersection.
Witnesses told police a black Mercedes ran the stop sign at Seventh and crashed into a Ford Focus. Both vehicles slid into a power pole, which cracked halfway up and dangled precariously over the intersection.
Police closed the 600 to 700 blocks of Seymour for an hour while the damage was repaired. The occupants of the two vehicles, including a mother and her toddler, suffered non-life threatening injuries in the collision.
RCMP Staff Sgt. Grant Learned said officers have been dispatched to at least seven motor vehicle incidents at the intersection so far this year.
The question on Darwent's mind Monday was what more can be done? He said enhanced signage, including reflective strips that would better catch drivers' attention, is the best option.
A traffic light is a typical knee-jerk reaction, said Darwent. He believes a light would cause more accidents, as motorists who aren't used to the mechanism will slam on the brakes in surprise.
A new light could also lead to what Darwent calls frustrated driver syndrome. He said motorists become increasingly agitated by the number of traffic signals and speed up in order to beat a light change.
Mark Heinrichs, who has lived in the downtown area for a year, crosses Seymour and Seventh about three times a day. He and his dog, Bailey, have had a few close calls when drivers run the stop sign or fail to stop when he's in the crosswalk.
"There needs to be a light or flashing (pedestrian) light. Something. Anything," he said.
De Kerf agrees. She sits in the front office of Sleep Apnea and hears the squealing brakes that come with another near miss for a pedestrian or an averted collision.
She has worked at the intersection since February and counts about an accident a month, she said. Speed is a big part of the problem.
"It's just go, go, go. They go so fast," she said.
Learned said the driver of the Mercedes, a 22-year-old Kamloops man, was ticketed for failing to stop at a stop sign.
About 7,000 vehicles a day travel Seymour, about half as many as Columbia Street. Darwent said the volume is less on Seymour because it's a one-way street.