EDITORIAL – Drivers are behaving badly in Victoria St. West construction zone

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

If YOU HAVEN’T HAD the dubious pleasure of running the Victoria Street West gauntlet during rush hour this week, here’s a tip — keep your wits about you.

Work is underway on what promises to be a two-year root canal, traffic-wise. The City has done everything possible to warn people, reduce the inconvenience, and keep traffic moving but it’s obvious it’s a near-impossible task.

Despite all the publicity, a lot of drivers don’t seem to have gotten the message, and it wouldn’t have done them much good if they did. It took me 15 minutes to move two blocks on Lansdowne Street as vehicles shoehorned into merge lanes and wound their way past City Hall on the detour.

Some drivers courteously allowed others to merge in front of them, some refused or even risked collisions by cutting in when they shouldn’t, thinking it important to get two seconds ahead of the next person.

I watched a guy in an SUV argue with a flag signaller, who patiently told him she couldn’t let him take a short cut via the bus lane because “everybody else will follow you.” He did the throwing-up-of-hands-in-frustration thing, then veered over to get his left fender in front of me.

Other drivers waved their arms at each other as they jockeyed for position in this crazy slo-mo steeple chase. I really don’t know what people are thinking.

There are barriers and signs all over the place with arrows pointing in all directions. It’s slow and painful and confusing.

Hopefully, as time goes on, drivers will become more patient. Right now, they’re a bunch of people behaving badly behind the wheel.

I feel sorry for the businesses on Victoria Street West, too. It’s going to be a tough couple of years.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (7716 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 EDITORIAL – Drivers are behaving badly in Victoria St. West construction zone

  1. This is the normal driving mentality of Kamloops drivers.

  2. I know I am taking the Halston to Westsyde tomorrow as I am sure people are figuring out, but since I live downtown, hadn’t seen the chaos until today.

  3. What about if the City would’ve installed high frequency free public transport to and from the Shore? Clean busses, with clean all weather shelters from key locations in the Shore to key locations in the downtown. Just imagine the air quality and the fuel wasted by all the motorists and the contractor…the aggravation of it all and the wasted time!

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