You know what would be really beneficial to everyone? If officials from the City of Duncan and surrounding areas were to take a car ride with a stranger to the area and make a serious assessment of the traffic signage.
The evenings are beginning to grow longer and brighter (a very welcome development) at this time of year, and we can’t help but reflect back on those very, very dark nights now behind us.
One of the things that stands out about the evening commute is just how difficult it is to see the markings on the road — we’re talking lane lines and such.
It’s pretty important to be able to clearly see the lane you’re turning into, or where the turn lane begins, for example.
In the dark, when it’s raining and you have other people’s headlights coming at you? Forget about it. The road markings are all but invisible until you’re on top of them, and sometimes not even then.
Reflectors would be a huge improvement, or at least some more reflective paint. Unfortunately, this time of year, when it is the hardest to see and you need it the most, the paint is the most likely to be worn down or covered up.
Downtown Duncan is a veritable maze to try to navigate for the newcomer.
The one-way streets are pretty well marked as you come up to them, but not so for where lanes are going to be ending, or end in a mandatory turn in a particular direction.
A stranger to the traffic patterns would have to make a guess in a number of places as to which lane will get them straight through, and if they guess wrong, with the traffic being what it is on most days, it’s not always an easy thing to make a correction partway through.
We’re sure the municipal units involved have done their due diligence by consulting traffic experts and such, but there’s no replacement for actually sitting in a car beside someone who’s totally new to the area and watching them struggle through. It provides a unique perspective that you’ve inevitably lost once you’ve lived in a place for awhile.
What’s the big deal, you might ask? We’re not talking about driving through Montreal or Toronto or Vancouver. Duncan’s just not that big or complicated.
Which is true enough, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make it better and more welcoming for motorists. After all, we want them to get off the highway, not be dissuaded from doing so.
We do have some weird intersections due to a lack of cohesive traffic planning back a century or so ago.
We bet the locals would appreciate better signage as well, and we’d certainly appreciate road markings that stand out in all conditions.