January 27, 2016 - 8:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - Temporary barricades at the Third Avenue rail crossing for this week’s Blazers games will be different from last week, which forced pedestrians up onto the the pedestrian bridge while leaving the game.
The city had bylaw officers in place to reroute pedestrian traffic after the hockey game last week, a move that was a surprise to many upset fans. The city sent out a release noting the temporary measures were to ensure the safety of pedestrians following large events at the Sandman Centre. The decision came about six weeks after Transport Canada required flaggers be in place at the intersection, though that only lasted a few days, and several months after Canadian Pacific Railway asked Transport Canada to close both the Second and Third Avenue crossings to traffic.
“We’re working on an interim option now for Friday and Saturday’s games where it is not barricaded at Lorne Street but the barricades are further back to the tracks,” City CAO David Trawin says. “Then when there is no train people can still get through those barricades.”
The city will work with rail company, the Kamloops Blazers and Kamloops RCMP to look at alternative solutions and Transport Canada will have to sign off on any changes before the city is able to move forward. Trawin says the city is hoping the consultant who wrote the initial safety report would amend it if a workable solution is found.
“The recommendation from the study basically said that barricading of Third Avenue by Lorne Street was required for safety purposes after events. We’re looking at getting an agreement with Transport Canada, the consultant and CP about where to put potential barricades and what they’ll look like,” Trawin says. “If there is barricading two things could happen; one, it doesn’t cause a back up into the roundabout and cause issues with safety for pedestrians and vehicles in the roundabout and two, when there is not a train in the crossing people can still get across the tracks.”
City staff were surprised at the reaction after the last Kamloops Blazers’s home game when barricades blocking the street level route were first introduced on Third Avenue. Fans leaving the game were directed up the stairs and over the bridge, resulting in clashes between bylaw officers and the public.
“We didn’t expect it to be that big an issue because when there is a train after games the vast majority of people use the stairs anyway,” Trawin says. “Quite frankly we were surprised by people's reaction, that negative. We knew people would be a little upset. We didn’t think it would come to the point where they were verbally abusing bylaw officers and physically grabbing or shaking them.”
In the immediate future RCMP officers will be on site to help keep the out flow from events calm.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016