An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
I’M GLAD TO SEE that the improvements to the Westmount elementary traffic situation will be ready for the first day of school next week.
Traffic to and from the drop-off area at the school has caused congestion and safety problems, and the school district and City of Kamloops began working on possible solutions seven months ago.
So, in time for Tuesday’s school-year start-up, there will be a new traffic light at Westsyde Road and Walkem Road, a better drop-off lane at the school, and other improvements.
There’s no mention of an increase to City transit, which was included in a report on the issue in April, but presumably that’s coming.
Former City councilor Nancy Bepple wrote earlier this year that the real answer is better school bus service, especially to and from Batchelor Heights.
We shall see if the fixes chosen by the school district and City work.
I figure any safety improvements involving Westsyde Road are a good thing. All along Westsyde Road between Westmount and the Dunes there are trouble spots that have been the scene of tragedies over the years.
Most of them involve pedestrians getting hit at crosswalks. Pedestrian-activated flashing lights certainly help but it’s still a dicey situation.
Often, pedestrians step out onto the crosswalk the instant the flashers are activated, surprising drivers who usually react by slamming on their brakes and risking being rear-ended, or blowing through the crosswalk way too close to the pedestrian.
And some drivers, not noticing there’s somebody in the crosswalk, still have a habit of swerving around or ignoring a vehicle in the lane beside them that has come to a stop. It’s a recipe for disaster.
Maybe it’s too soon to revive the idea of reducing the road to two lanes from four but it’s definitely not too soon to take a new look at safety issues on Westsyde Road.
How about some permanent flashing yellow lights and warning signs for starters?
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.