EDITORIAL – If 4th Avenue is in, what about the performing arts centre?

Will the PAC find a new champion?

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THERE ARE TIMES when I have hope for City of Kamloops planners.

A report on Phase 2 of the Downtown Plan process was released on Tuesday and there’s some good stuff in there.

Never mind that it recommends doubling down on the questionable Fourth Avenue “pedestrian plaza” concept. Maybe I was just there at the wrong time during the two-week experiment but it looked like anything but a big success to me.

Why planners and, apparently, the City council, think this is a good idea when pedestrian malls so famously flop almost everywhere else they’re tried is beyond me.

Never mind, there are positive signs elsewhere in the report.

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Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (7618 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 EDITORIAL – If 4th Avenue is in, what about the performing arts centre?

  1. Why would they have ever held a trial during a heat wave when shade was sorely missed? My wife and I visited twice and both times were put off. Really, this 4th avenue proposal is dependent on the PAC rising up on the old Daily News site – not a sure thing at all. I agree fully with making Victoria street more mall like. Wider sidewalks, more sidewalk seating and ambience. Oh and some summer shade. Take the curbside parking off two blocks of Victorian and keep the Old News site as surface parking or a future parkade (an innovative one with mixed use). The best relevant overseas experience we ever had was mall like streets with limited – and slowed – vehicle access. Let’s hear what the prospective council candidates think about all of this.

  2. Peter Miedema // August 30, 2018 at 4:56 AM // Reply

    A much better solution would be a pedestrian mall on Victoria Street, from 2nd to 4th Avenue. More shops and restaurants, and would attract many more people to the downtown area.

  3. Cynthia Friedman // August 30, 2018 at 4:37 AM // Reply

    Agree with everything here in comments and article. I was downtown three different days at three different times (later mornimg/noon, agternoon, and evening). Yes, not a scientific sample, but each time I went, there were perhaps max three people, not including lonely, talented musicians playing their hearts out to a big empty space. Kamloopsians, I think, prefer the big events – Ribfest, Hot Nite, Pride, Santa Claus, BrewLoops. A (non-blocked) Arts Avenue with a Centre is much more appealing. Perhaps someone should bring in a mini, concentrated, but busy Fringe Festival (with plenty of indoor venues to be prepared for smoke). This is the time for real possibilities. I think the Buskers’ Festival indicated the type of activities our folks really dig.

  4. I think people realize a casual gathering place is important…but not necessarily Fourth Avenue.
    It would be a mistake for the City to spend money in making this area the gathering place. Perhaps a reshaped and properly costed/financed Performing Art Center could became the gathering place for everyone! What the heck…it is just my opinion!

  5. Blocking 4th Ave. to emergency vehicles is not a wise move.
    The few times I was downtown, I also saw only a few people doing much on 4th between Victoria and Seymour. There are already sidewalk cafes which can serve people well in the good weather but no, don’t block off 4th Ave.

  6. I visited the downtown area many times when 4th Ave was blocked off and never saw more than a few individuals — one day a busker was playing on 4th between Victoria and Seymour with not a soul around — so to say it was a success ????? I think a better way to make downtown more pedestrian friendly is clean up the streets of homeless and drug users. Side walk cafes are very nice places to hang out if you are not constantly bothered by people asking for money

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