December 02, 2015 - 2:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - It took more than two hours to decide on the fate of the bus stop near the Norkam Clinic, and in the end no changes will be made and the clinic will not get a new patient drop-off zone.
The issue came to council again yesterday, Dec. 1, and after numerous speakers and a lengthy debate councillors voted five to four against the request.
A tandem bus stop would have had to be moved from in front of the clinic to a different location on Tranquille Road in order to create the loading zone. Business owners were against the move as they feared it would eliminate on-street parking. City staff were also not in favour saying it would require removing trees and large planters and create large distances between existing stops.
The issue first came to council in September when clinic manager Patti Aldrich argued the patient volumes at Norkam Clinic warranted a designated patient drop-off zone. Council originally voted against the issue Oct. 20, deciding additional signage was more appropriate than moving the bus stop.
Coun. Marg Spina returned the issue to the council table last month, after being lobbied by clinic staff who felt they had not had the chance to speak to the concern.
Residents and business owners within 100 metres of the Norkam Clinic were sent a mail-out outlining the issue and asked for feedback. Council received multiple pieces of correspondence, the majority in favour of moving the current bus stop and creating a loading zone.
Chambers were packed yesterday for council’s decision as well. Six people spoke to the drop-off zone and council spent from 1:30 p.m. until 4 p.m. debating the issue, pausing only briefly to hear a delegation on a completely different topic.
Coun. Denis Walsh said moving the bus stop should not be an issue because generally those who take the bus are in better shape than those who would need the Norkam Clinic. Spina echoed the sentiment saying the stop could be moved in front of Kamloops Innovation because the bus was more amenable to ‘tech people.’
For Coun. Tina Lange creating the patient drop-off zone was about alleviating the stress of an already over-burdened hospital emergency room.
In the end, the majority of council agreed with the sentiment of Coun. Donovan Cavers, who said if new signage did not work, the issue of a drop-off zone could be re-examined.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015