A vehicle crash at Hazel and First in Chilliwack Thursday morning. (Greg Knill/ The Progress)

First and Hazel deserves a closer look

Neighbours argue the intersection is prone to crashes

The woman was more than happy to talk about the traffic situation at the intersection outside her home.

“I have a headline for you,” she said as firefighters worked to free the driver of a vehicle that came to rest in a townhouse driveway – a trail of debris in its wake.

“First and Hazel again!”

She has her reasons.

In the 11 years she’s lived in the area, she claims she’s seen at least 50 accidents at the intersection.

That may be an exaggeration, but her neighbours agree the crossing is bad.

Just last month a collision sent an RV into a house, severing a residential gas line that forced the evacuation of the surrounding area for hours.

The same house had a vehicle smash though its hedge 10 months earlier.

“It’s like living in Universal Studios,” Sarah Sorensen told The Progress.

So why are there so many accidents at the intersection? The roads are straight and the visibility is clear.

The problem, neighbours say, are drivers who travel too fast and are not paying attention.

Some call for speed bumps. But those kinds of traffic calming initiatives bring their own problems.

What’s needed is improved visibility for the stop signs already in place on Hazel. Flashing lights, or more a central placement of the signs may help.

Fortunately, the city is taking the complaints seriously. Hopefully they can provide some answers.

In the meantime, motorists have a role: Drive defensively, and pay attention, not just at First and Hazel, but everywhere.

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