03/04/2014 23:03 EST | Updated 05/04/2014 05:59 EDT

Point Grey Road closure to blame for 4th Avenue accidents?

Residents living near Point Grey Road in Vancouver say the closure of a seven block stretch six weeks ago has made the alternate route along 4th Avenue much more dangerous.

Point Grey Road was closed permanently to through traffic in January so construction could begin on the controversial new $6 million Point Grey-Cornwall bike route. 

As a result, say residents traffic congestion on 4th Avenue has gotten worse, and so too have accidents. 

"There are just a lot of accidents here, and it's happened all of the sudden," said resident Michael Del Pellaro, standing at 4th Avenue and Collingwood Street. 

"From going to seeing one accident on 4th in the entire three years that I've lived here, there's been five between my wife and I within the past month."

Vancouver City Hall has received complaints about several motor vehicle accidents on 4th Avenue since the Point Grey Road closure. Last weekend, there were two crashes in 12 hours. 

"I hope the mayor will realize that a mistake has been made in the issue of closing Point Grey Road and do the right thing and go back to what was there," said Del Pellaro. 

City councillor George Affleck has introduced a motion for staff to install appropriate traffic signals on 4th Avenue as soon as possible.

"The way they've constructed it I find very confusing and very restrictive to any kind of traffic. Even if you get in there, getting out of it is a problem," said Affleck.

The Kitsilano Chamber of Commerce has looked into the possibility of suing the city over the Point Grey Road closure, but acknowledges it would be a costly fight. It says it will wait and see how the busy summer traffic season plays out before making a decision.