UBC installs barriers at "problem" stairs, but fourth car plunges over stairs elsewhere on campus

Dec 19 2017, 8:26 pm

Officials at the University of British Columbia have taken action to the unwanted public attention it attained after three cars traveled through a pedestrian-only pathway and plummeted over a flight of stairs.

Early this afternoon, UBC maintenance crews were seen installing three bright yellow coloured barriers at the top of the stairs located directly across from Irving K. Barber Learning Centre on the East Mall.

The UBC Alma Mater Student Society even took the matter to their own hands on Tuesday by placing a makeshift pylon with an attached sign that simply read: “Attn Drivers: don’t!”

There have been three incidents at this location beginning on October 5 when a Mercedes SUV got stuck on the stairs. Another two incidents occurred over the Thanksgiving long weekend: a Volkswagen car on Sunday morning and a taxi cab on Monday evening.

But for UBC officials, the problem of cars getting stuck on stairs could be likened to a game of whack-a-mole.

Earlier in the day, another taxi cab took a dive on a different flight of stairs located across campus at Totem Park Residence – the fourth incident of its kind in only 10 days.

With such frequent incidents over an incredibly short period, it begs the question of whether ever-changing design and engineering elements – not just driver incompetence – are also at fault.

UBC’s Point Grey campus is currently in a process of immense transition and rapid change: many new buildings have been completed in recent years, and large areas of the campus continue to be a disruptive construction zone. This will only continue for the foreseeable future with more building projects slated to begin in the near future.

This is in addition to other ongoing construction projects for the Public Realm Plan: a 15-year, $46-million plan to rebuild and revitalize UBC’s streets, pathways and outdoor public spaces, with a goal of making the campus more pedestrian-friendly.

October 5, 2014 – first incident: Mercedes SUV

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October 12, 2014 – second incident: Volkswagen

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October 13, 2014 – third incident: taxi cab 

ubc taxi stairs
Image: Shikha Walia


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