January 25, 2016 - 4:16 PM
KAMLOOPS - The wheels are in motion to remove the Transport Canada order on the contentious 3 Avenue railroad crossing downtown as city administrators work out a plan to protect pedestrians.
The city’s Chief Administrative Officer David Trawin says he is currently in discussions with Canadian Pacific and Transport Canada officials to determine if a barricade gate for when trains are operating could be the best option moving forward to prevent Transport Canada from closing the crossing altogether.
"We're trying to come up with solutions. We have a couple of ideas that the consultant is working on. We will be meeting with the RCMP down at the intersection tomorrow to just sort of go over that with them,” he says.
Trawin notes the city’s main concern is when there’s a higher influx of people on Lorne Street after an event either at Riverside Park or the Sandman Centre. He says officials attempted to mitigate hazards by directing pedestrians to use the crossing bridge after the Kamloops Blazers game last weekend, but says the results of that directive were ‘poor’.
"We probably could have done a little better rollout. I don’t know if the rollout would have changed people’s behaviour. But to put it bluntly some people were very disrespectful of bylaw officers,” he says, noting one officer was pushed and hasn’t returned to work since. Trawin says around 100 people refused RCMP and bylaw officer’s requests to use the pedestrian bridge and crossed the tracks.
"Another problem was funnelling that many people up the stairs. You’re creating a funnel which backed up into the intersection which made it impossible for the auxiliaries and RCMP to control the intersection in a safe manner,” he says.
Trawin says he hopes to have an idea of what changes will come about by either Wednesday or Thursday, but says there’s no plan in place for the Blazer games on Friday and Saturday nights. He plans to talk to Blazers officials this week.
Right now the recommendations from the consultant suggest barricades be erected by Lorne Street instead of at the crossing, but Trawin says he hopes to re-focus that to address the crossing instead of potentially blocking vehicular traffic along with pedestrian traffic. He has requested cost for all infrastructure changes be split equally between Canadian Pacific railway, Transport Canada and the city of Kamloops.
"The (Transport Canada) order still is in place on the safety of the crossing. The city’s goal is to make sure that crossing does not become a fully closed crossing based upon the issues with pedestrians,” he says.
The order has been in place on the crossing since summer 2014.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016