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Junction of Columbia/Highway 3/St.Paul St.

Hi,

I'm fairly new to Rossland and so apologies if this discussion has already taken place (I seached but didn't find anything).  I'm wondering if I'm using the junction at the corner of Columbia ave, highway 3B and st.paul street wrong?  So the turn as you are going towards Trail at the corner where the dispensary is.  I've attached a screen shot as reference.  On a number of occasions I have had people, coming from downtown towards Trail, stop in front of the dispensary (A on the map) and wave frantically at me to come out of St Paul street or Columbia ave, east of the Thai restaurant, treating this area as a 4 way stop.  I've even seen the odd instance of people coming up from Trail (B on the map) treating it as a 4 way stop.  Now I see this as not being a 4 way stop at all, as the only stop signs are at St Paul Street and east Columbia ave coming down the hill but maybe I'm wrong?  The right of way belongs to anyone on Highway 3B and west Columbia Ave, in my opinion, and then the vehicles coming out of St Paul Street and East Columbia Ave can obey right of way rules.  Just wondering if anyone can shed light on this as it's happened enough times now that I'm questioning my reading of the road signs/markings.

Photos: 

flashing yellow at A if you are continuing up Columbia to the Court house or turning left onto St Paul. 

I've had people "turning right" from A treat is as a 4 way stop, which baffles me.  For turning left or going straight from A, it's a little trickier but I would still say the person at A has the right of way and not anyone coming from St Paul or Columbia East and yet this has been treated as a 4 way stop too.  But again that's just the way I'm reading it.

I would call those who choose to stop as though that intersection is a 4 way stop, good defensive drivers. 

What really does bother me is Rossland's bylaw that states "people have the right to -jaywalk-.  This is a foolish bylaw and only goes to teach children that if it's their right to jayewlak in Rossland, then it is their right to jaywalk in any town.  That's how people get hit by cars.

I get the point you are making Les, but if I'm reading the traffic layout as correct, then should a good defensive driver not obey the correct rules of the road?  My father thought me defensive driving but it was in another country so I'm trying to clarify.  For instance this morning a car was coming from downtown and heading towards Trail, they stopped at A and beckoned me to come out of St Paul street.  Sure that's a cautious approach to the junction but 1. they shouldn't be directing traffic and 2. if anyone was coming behind them they could cut inside initial car to head towards Trail and a crash could occur with either the car coming from St Paul or when the car at A goes to turn towards Trail.  I know that as a defensive driver you should assume the worst and that people will not use this junction correctly, but stopping where you shouldn't stop can also be dangerous.

Now the person today may have been trying to be courteous as they came down the hill into Trail slower than I did and that was perhaps their motivation, to not hold me up, but this isn't the first instance I've encountered at this junction.

It's a 3-way stop with two stop signs and a flashing red light. A green right turn arrow for vehicles heading down the Trail Hill from Columbia gives them the right of way. Vehicles coming up from Trail also have the right of way. I don't know if it's required but most people signal left if they're turning west onto Columbia instead of going up St. Paul. It let's everyone know what your intentions are. Don't stop on a green light and wave people through that are stopped at a stop sign. It might be courteous but it's not very safe.

Hi Kato,  I would agree with everything you said although I would question if that flashing red means it becomes a 3 way stop.  If this junction was meant to be a 3-way stop there are better road layouts to do so, although perhaps you are right and the reason the layout has not been changed is due to space limitations to allow large trucks to turn and/or sight lines restricted by building on Southwest corner.  I think that flashing red light is purely to stop people from going straight through but as I said you could be right.

Yes if you are going straight through on Columbia you MUST stop. A flashing red means proceed when safe to do so after stopping.

I agree it's a stop, I just think the person on Columbia driving west to east would have the right away before a car on St Paul or a car on opposite side of Columbia as the person driving west to east on Columbia is on the through road.  It's only because this junction is on a bend that makes it confusing. Everyone seems to understand the other junctions on Columbia.

Whoever arrives at one of the stop signs / light first has the right of way (when safe). Otherwise yield to the right. If three vehicles arrive at the same time then the vehicle going west to east has the right of way (when safe).

Are you sure that's how it works, Kato, or just an opinion?  

I do believe that Columbia Ave. is actually part of the BC Highway system (3B/22) so, the laws of the provincial highway system apply.  Those driving through town (Columbia Ave.) with the intent of continuing up to the manor must stop only if there is trafiic approaching from Trail on Highway 3B/22. 

You must stop your vehicle before entering or crossing any public highway.   Those driving down St Paul and heading for Trail "must stop" before entering a highway (3B/22).  Traffic travelling on Columbia Ave. has the right of over –any- traffic entering the highway from St Paul.  Those travelling along Columbia with the intent of heading down the hill are not required to stop -unless- there is -trilight traffic control system- in place.  In otherwords, everyone must stop before entering a provincial or federal highway. I should have looked up this little piece of info before posting my first grammatical catastrophe.

Thanks, Les.  That is how I have been treating the junction, but there seem to be many interpretations, unfortunately.  I have emailed city hall for clarification too, but maybe no one cares as this is a fairly pedantic issue. :P    

I'm pretty sure (just my opinion) that if you run that flashing red light to continue east on Columbia, and a cop sees you, you'll get a ticket.

Commenters here need to bone up on the concept of "Right of Way"  - it's actually a misnomer - the law does not state that a driver HAS the Right of Way - it (the law) details who is required to yield in various situations....one never HAS the Right of Way - it may be that a person claims having this (incorrectly) when there may be another driver who failed to yield when obliged to do so.

And where is this blanket requirement to STOP before entering or crossing a public highway? Wedding Cake Corner from Thompson has a Yield sign - which requires drivers to slow down and proceed if it's safe - not necessarily stop.  Also, down in Trail in front of Gerick's there's a yield sign as we turn onto the highway that comes down from Teck....and again the obligation is to slow down and proceed if it's safe........

Okay alan10cdn, thanks for your input.  I'll stop saying someone HAS the right of way when the driver handbooks issued by government agencies stop using the phrase.

@alan10cdn

RE:  http://www.icbc.com/driver-licensing/Documents/drivers4.pdf

four-way stops — when there are stop signs at all corners: • The first vehicle to arrive at the intersection and come to a complete stop should go first. • If two vehicles arrive at the same time, the one on the right should go first. • If two vehicles are facing each other and have arrived at the intersection at about the same time, the one making a left turn should yield to the one going straight through.

  http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/complete/statreg/96318_05 BC Motor Vehile Act; Municiple powers:  #124 

Entering a through highway; same link  Entering through highway: #175

The above lnk is the complete coverage of the BC Motor Vehicle Act;  This Act is current to February 28, 2018 

 

Ah, yes those government publications - written by our greatest minds (civil servants) to enlighten those other great minds - 16 year olds.

The concept of having the right of way leads to a notion of possessive priority .... This is MINE! ...it does not support the true nature of what we are meant to do on our roads - cooperate, share, tolerate, give way - show patience.  But this is true of life - nevermind our roads - and what a fine job we've made of it so far, eh?

And as far as the original stopping at highways statement by our former mayor - I suggest that you ensure that wide-ranging statements are clarified by the specifics of the situation. And you seem to be referring to 4-way stops now - the corner at Columbia & St. Paul is not a 4-way stop...so there's no obligation to stop if a driver is turning right heading down into the abyss - unless there's pedestrians - at which point a driver must YIELD.

Anyway, I've had my say.  I shouldn't get into these things - too much time...........

Haha ya, maybe you shouldn't get involved; preaching cooperation, sharing, tolerance and patience directly after sarcastically insulting civil servants and the youth.  You've given me a laugh at least if nothing else. 

"I do believe that Columbia Ave. is actually part of the BC Highway system (3B/22) so, the laws of the provincial highway system apply.  Those driving through town (Columbia Ave.) with the intent of continuing up to the manor must stop only if there is trafiic approaching from Trail on Highway 3B/22. "

This doesn't make sense, Les, as Columbia Ave is only the highway until it turns down to Trail. It's a regular Rossland city street going east up the hill. Pretty sure the flashing red means you need to stop first, then continue up the hill if it's safe, if you have the right of way. 

As for the three routes other than driving through on the highway (no stopping), this sounds right to me: Whoever arrives at one of the stop signs / light first has the right of way (when safe). Otherwise yield to the right. 

I always think that those who stop when driving through on the highway are not locals, as it is pretty confusing when you first come across it. The big trucks always know what to do. 

"I do believe that Columbia Ave. is actually part of the BC Highway system (3B/22) so, the laws of the provincial highway system apply.  Those driving through town (Columbia Ave.) with the intent of continuing up to the manor must stop only if there is trafiic approaching from Trail on Highway 3B/22. "

This doesn't make sense, Les, as Columbia Ave is only the highway until it turns down to Trail. It's a regular Rossland city street going east up the hill. Pretty sure the flashing red means you need to stop first, then continue up the hill if it's safe, if you have the right of way. 

As for the three routes other than driving through on the highway (no stopping), this sounds right to me: Whoever arrives at one of the stop signs / light first has the right of way (when safe). Otherwise yield to the right. 

I always think that those who stop when driving through on the highway are not locals, as it is pretty confusing when you first come across it. The big trucks always know what to do. 

Hmm, is there no way to edit or delete a comment after you've posted? Sorry for the double post.

Thank you for your input, Shelley.  And if there is a way to edit or delete, I haven't found it.  I'm still not convinced this becomes a 3-way stop due to the flashing light but certainly open to being proven wrong.