New City Hall intersection a major disappointment

SATURDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — After four months and $1.8 million, the intersection in front of Kamloops City Hall is a major disappointment.

View down First Avenue toward Victoria, Lansdowne and Lorne.

View down First Avenue toward Victoria.

It looks like a coach’s chalk board scrawled out with a minute left in the game.

The worst part of it, of course, is the elimination of the lefthand turn off the 100-block Victoria Street onto First Avenue. It’s a reduction in service.

The question is, then, what was gained for those many weeks of inconvenience and expense?

Sure, there were the upgrades to utilities and there’s no question it will look prettier. But the main purpose of the intersection, traffic, is worse now than before the project began. People will need to be excused for asking what bonehead drew out the new configuration on the back of a napkin.

Engineers have their reasons for such things. A traffic signal just wouldn’t work, we’re told. Neither would a roundabout, despite it being a perfect scenario for one (apparently, there wasn’t enough room).

But this one is going to take some getting used to.


About Mel Rothenburger (7200 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.

6 Comments on New City Hall intersection a major disappointment

  1. Dennis Paget // August 4, 2014 at 11:41 AM // Reply

    It’s sad to see municipal hall imploding with further poor decisions and lack of creative thought. What’s really sad is that Council sits back and let’s these poor decisions with negative outcomes continue. I would have thought they would have provided a little more parking for municipal hall patrons/taxpayers as well as considering that this area is a core traffic route. Was it worth 1.8 million? Where is the financial management? How will this affect business category taxpayers? And, Peter Milobar wants us all to accept the status quo at municipal hall! Peter, if we did that, you and the present Council would direct us to financial bandruptcy as the taxpayers would not be able to foot these million dollar errors in judgement.

  2. I am wondering how the businesses at the City Hall end of Victoria Street (between First and Second Avenue) feel about the possibility that there might be less traffic / shoppers at their end if people have to turn on Second Avenue to go towards Columbia thereby making parking on that block less desirable. I hope it doesn’t make a difference but it just might.

  3. Tracey Lodge // August 2, 2014 at 9:00 AM // Reply

    I totally agree. The intersection worked fine before and now it is just clumsy. No matter what anyone says, it is because of the hotel. Nobody is ever going to convince me otherwise.

  4. Lyman Duff // August 2, 2014 at 7:20 AM // Reply

    Is it really worse or does it take a little getting used to? I am sure disappointed about the tiny size of the concrete sarcophagus that will supposedly house the new trees.
    I am also thinking, eventually there will be less and certainly slower traffic at that end of Victoria Street, making the courtyard at Brownstone restaurant much more enjoyable.

  5. LAWRENCE BEATON // August 2, 2014 at 5:39 AM // Reply

    So once again city planners and engineers strike. One more reason not to go into downtown.

    • So a reason for you to avoid downtown is a lack of a left turn on first? Doesn’t make much sense,Lawrence. Vancouver’s downtown has lots of traffic pitfalls. Some of calgarys downtown streets you can’t turn down because they are only for the c-train only, forcing you to go an extra block. Do you avoid all those downtowns as well?

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