KAMLOOPS – A plan intended to make a stretch of Tranquille Road close to the airport not only safer, but also more pleasing to the eye, garnered a lot of attention at an open house Wednesday.
The three kilometers of roadway from Desmond Street to Airport Road was the subject of an open house June 17. The Tranquille and Airport-Gateway Corridor Concept Plan aims to showcase the city’s natural beauty to guests travelling from the airport into the city proper. Much of Tranquille Road is not currently thought to be scenic, or inviting, or safe for pedestrians and cyclists, which is why the city is looking to spend $7.4 million to improve it.
The plan is broken into five smaller sections, starting at the airport and moving east. Each section will include upgrades to landscaping, the addition of trees, pedestrian or cycling paths and ‘Welcome to Kamloops’ signage.
While comments Wednesday included things along the line of ‘sounds great’ and ‘can’t wait to see it,’ some were decidedly more pointed with their comments. Multiple residents questioned the landscaping or the rationale behind certain choices.
Jan Nademlejnsky thinks ditches, especially rock filled, are a ‘stupid idea.’ He says it rarely rains in Kamloops and the ditches serve little purpose. Nademlejnsky also says ditches are difficult to maintain and with rocks the would be almost impossible to maintain. He says weeds and grass will grow through the rocks and the ditches will become unsightly and unkempt.
Nademlejnsky’s understanding is that residents will be responsible for the maintenance of the ditch in front of their property, something he thinks few people realize.
“It never rains here!” LeRoy Scott agrees, though his concern was less about the ditches and more about the potential cost of irrigation for the trees.
As a cyclist Scott is happy with the safety improvements though, especially where heavy traffic drives. He only wishes the bike trails extended past the airport.
“In my opinion it’s not enough,” he says, adding the project should extend along the dyke all the way to Cinnamon Ridge.
Stephen Karpuk completely disagrees with Scott’s safety assertions, saying he would never bike the Tranquille trails with his children.
“There are too many crossings,” Karpuk says, adding “even at controlled crossings, children have been struck and killed.”
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