February 07, 2013 - 3:13 PM
A city project is moving forward that will shed light on foot and vehicular traffic along a stretch of Tranquille Road in Kamloops, just as council faces questions about what is being done to improve roads and sidewalks for pedestrians.
The project will see new lighting installed along a 1.8 km stretch of Tranquille Road on the North Shore between Leigh Road and Sydney Avenue. Letters were sent out in December offering area residents a chance to air any concerns or opposition to the plan—a process that allows council to authorize the plan without a public hearing as long as the number of responses is below the required 10 per cent. Not a single response was received in regards to the plan, which allowed a certificate of sufficiency to be put in place, allowing council to approve the loan.
Little discussion was needed at Tuesday's meeting to approve the $2.4 million with council simply wanting to know when the project will start and when it will be completed. With the tender process beginning in spring, a definitive answer wasn't available but council was assured the project should be complete by the end of the year.
As for conditions in rest of the city, councillors and residents alike had concerns over burnt out lights, lack of sidewalks and general pedestrian safety, which were brought up at both council and budget meetings.
Coun. Nancy Bepple expressed concerns over lights not working on Columbia which resulted in councillors asking the mayor to send a letter to BC Hydro asking for clarification and reasoning on delays in getting them fixed. At the budget meeting Tuesday night concerned citizens asked council to seriously look at putting the need for sidewalks on streets south of Columbia Street at a higher priority. City staff did assure one person that their street of concern —7th Avenue—was on the list as a medium priority, which prompted another member of the public to say there should be no priority list as such, safety should be top priority and all areas needed to be focused on.
Coun. Nelly Dever noted new downtown crosswalk signage had been added to some areas – such as Victoria Street and 6th Avenue – but also wanted to see more signage at other dangerous intersections. City staff did not have an exact list available of planned upgrades but did note that there have been many upgrades already, with more on the way, especially for multilane roadways such as Westsyde Road.
Pedestrian safety has become a very hot topic in Kamloops over recent months. Many accidents in the downtown area including a fatal accident at Victoria Street and 6th Avenue seemed to take place one after another with more than half a dozen pedestrians struck during a two month period at the end of 2012.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013