An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger first published May 24, 2018.
KAMLOOPS CITY HALL is in the last days of its public-input phase for a new transportation master plan. If you haven’t read the draft plan, you should because it includes a lot of good concepts.
It talks about bike lanes, transit, crosswalks, signage and so on.
One thing that strikes me about it is the emphasis on the importance of walking. No matter where we go or how far, at least part of the journey for most of us involves some walking.
According to the draft plan, and I quote, “Walking is the highest priority as it is the primary human mode of transportation….”
In a city that was built for cars, it’s important to recognize that. But the plan as envisioned seems all about getting from A to B, and nothing in between. By that I mean the impact of getting from A to B on what’s along the way.
So let’s talk about Seymour Street one more time. Kamloops simply has to pay attention to the detrimental effect of having one-way streets go through the downtown core, especially Seymour.
It’s not a friendly street for those on foot. It’s all about speed, a way of getting traffic through the downtown area as fast as possible.
There was a plan years ago for returning Seymour Street to two-way traffic, a move that would slow things down and bring back pedestrians, boost business and improve the lifestyle of the downtown core.
Shelved years ago by timid City councillors, it never shows up in discussions on the future of transportation in Kamloops. The Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association worries about parking, but never talks about what to do with Seymour Street.
The new master plan looks like a good plan. It covers a lot of things, even mentioning the old proposal to extend the bypass along the benchlands below Juniper, a concept that drew outrage before it was quietly abandoned years ago.
And yet, Seymour Street sits, ignored. Time for traffic planners to bring it back into the picture.
Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on ArmchairMayor.ca and CFJC Today. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.