Spend first on making existing cycling routes safe

MONDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — The proposal by a community group that the City construct a new multi-use trail between the Halston Bridge and the Tournament Capital Ranch at Rayleigh is well-intended but not likely to get anywhere soon.

Views of proposed trail route.

Views of proposed trail route.

The $2-million (rough number) project was proposed a few weeks ago and staff will put a preliminary informational report on the table for council’s consideration on Tuesday. It outlines a number of obstacles to the plan, including geographical challenges and access across Band land, as well as the fact there are a lot of other projects that probably have higher priority.

The report doesn’t rule out the idea forever, but certainly doesn’t encourage putting it high on an already the extensive wish list. Neither is council likely to jump at getting involved in another pricey capital project at this time.

There’s another reason not to move quickly on this idea. It proposes a path on a route that is not currently a high-use area for cyclists or pedestrians. Indeed, the report suggests it won’t be a high-use route even should the trail be built.

On the other hand, there are other routes that are highly used and which present serious safety issues — for example, the East Trans Canada Highway and Westsyde Road north of the Dunes golf course. And, there’s some discontent that planned upgrades to Columbia Street don’t include provision for dedicated cycling lanes.

If the City wants to spend a couple of million dollars on multi-use paths, let it be spent first based on existing safety deficiencies rather than on encouragement of brand new recreational routes.

About Mel Rothenburger (6996 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

3 Comments on Spend first on making existing cycling routes safe

  1. David Poulin // June 10, 2014 at 8:28 AM // Reply

    I have done a fair bit of cycling in the city and agree that it can be quite challenging in some areas. I do not recommend riding anywhere on Columbia. St. Paul, Battle and Nicola are reasonable alternatives. Of all the routes available to get up and down the hill, I find St. Paul to Powers Addition via the multi-use path to be the best. The path is paved and lighted with a rest stop at a nice viewpoint. The grade can be tough, but there is no traffic to contend with. It’s vehicles whizzing by during a slow, wobbly climb that makes uphill riding frightening and stressful. You can get to McGill via Dalgleish by going around the car barrier at the student residences. Columbia can be crossed at McGill or Summit into Lower Sahali. The ride up Summit to Upper Sahali isn’t too bad as there is a bike lane most of the way.

  2. Lyman Duff // June 10, 2014 at 8:04 AM // Reply

    Expensive roadways yes, beautification projects yes, expensive underutilized equipment yes, pay raises yes, then there is no money left for sensible projects.
    When is “sensible” going to be part of the city’s vocabulary?

  3. I agree — the City needs to focus on making biking within the heart of the City safer. Recently, I encouraged a friend who is new to cycling to sign up for Bike to Work Week. After two days of experiencing the stress of cycling among traffic on Columbia Street (where he works), he threw in the towel. The recommended bike route (going up St.Paul and then up a goat trail to the Powers Addition area) is simply not a do-able option for most cyclists, and if you live in Lower Sahali as we do, then you still have to at least cross Columbia Street somewhere. It’s terrifying in rush hour. Not until cycling feels safe will more people choose to cycle.

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