For many B.C. residents on Tuesday evening, it was chaos on Metro Vancouver’s roads and highways as snow fell across the region.
Cars and buses were involved in crashes as tires failed to grip icy roadways.
It was a ripple effect of crashes on the 168 Street hill in Surrey.
Some residents were moving a car when another car came sliding down the hill backward, hitting two other parked cars.
There were multiple crashes on another hill in Surrey as vehicle after vehicle came down and struck one already stuck.
In the end, a TransLink bus crashed into the line of cars, head-on.
Residents report it took them hours to get home through the mess. Some people were stuck trying to get home for upwards of 12 hours due to the congestion and weather conditions.
Driving over the Port Mann Bridge Tuesday night, drivers could see vehicles abandoned on the side of the road.
Only one lane of the bridge was open for drivers to use.
Janelle Staite, deputy director of South Coast Region with the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, said there were 30 pieces of equipment working on the Lower Mainland roads Tuesday night.
“A big piece of what we’re looking at is, if folks don’t need to be out on the road then I think that’s a key piece as well,” she said. “What we found yesterday was around 1 or 2 o’clock when people saw the snow starting to arrive, they actually started leaving their work or changing their routine a little bit. So the congestion period that we typically see around 4:30, started at 2 p.m. and we weren’t able to clear that congestion until the wee hours of the morning, which did contribute to some very extraordinary commutes for folks.”
Semi-truck drivers were forced to pull over and wait for the roads to be cleared at Knight Street and 33 Avenue in Vancouver.
Video taken at the intersection shows trucks stranded in the snow, unable to move.
Staite said while B.C.’s highways do have winter tire requirements, there is no thought at this time to implement similar requirements in urban areas.
“You need to make sure that your vehicle is equipped to be out there in winter conditions,” she said. “So if you have winter tires available, whether you’re travelling in an urban area or on a highway, those are certainly advantageous.”