Council is debating whether left turns should continue to be allowed from Darnell Road in Lake Cowichan. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette)

Is ‘right turn only’ the answer at Darnell Road in Lake Cowichan?

Turning left onto Lake Cowichan’s main street from Darnell can be frustrating, dangerous: Garrett

Do you find it frustrating and even dangerous to try to turn left from Darnell Road onto Cowichan Lake Road?

In answer to a question from Lake Cowichan resident Bill Garrett, council talked about the problem of whether or not there should be a “no left turn” sign where Darnell issues onto the main street, between the Royal Bank and Orka tube rentals.

Coun. Lorna Vomacka said the subject had come to council before, and a suggestion had been made that everyone be forced to go west to the roundabout and then go around it if they wanted to go east from Darnell.

“Was it from the RCMP?” she asked.

Fernandez said that truckers [coming from the liquor store or Country Grocer] found the corner difficult to negotiate in a right turn.

Garrett said, “The last few weeks, I’ve been at Home Hardware frequently getting supplies for an ongoing renovation and I can tell you that’s one dangerous corner. You’re pulling away from the curb, some guy’s going out into traffic, straight into a crosswalk. Somebody’s going to get killed.”

Coun. Carolyne Austin, “We were going to ‘Right turn only’ but because of the wide sidewalk on that side, it’s a Ministry of Transportation item and very expensive to fix, that was one of the problems. I have seen people sit there for ages and then sit there right in front of somebody. I don’t know what we can do.”

Peters said, “It’s impossible for those trucks to make a right hand turn there, even if it’s just a tandem axle, because that sidewalk does jut out there and there’s a telephone pole. It was brought up to the MOTI the last time we talked to them but I haven’t heard back from them. And also, the people using the crosswalk do not always use the button, and that’s the most frustrating thing ever. I don’t know how we can educate them.”

Sandhu said, “I think we should have a no left turn there. That’s what the roundabout is there for. I’ve sat there and witnessed it too. It can be dangerous, sometimes people just take chances. We’ve been lucky but something will happen.”

Coun. Tim McGonigle said that it would not be possible to have private vehicles turning right at that corner and the transports turning left.

“You can’t differentiate between them,” he said. “That’s the problem that we’ve heard.”

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