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EDITORIAL – Another dangerous pedestrian zone on McGill needs action

McGill Road in front of Tournament Capital Centre. (Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger

THE DEATH OF A TRU EMPLOYEE when she was hit by a truck in a crosswalk near the university raised the issue of what can be done about the pedestrian death toll.

Tragically, there have been five vehicular deaths of people connected to TRU since the beginning of November. While only one of them occurred within the immediate vicinity of the university, everything possible must be done to avoid another in the McGill Road stretch that runs parallel to the campus.

The intersection near the main TRU entrance on McGill is one obvious area of concern (and so is the Summit Connector near that intersection) but a few blocks away there’s another spot waiting for a bad accident to happen.

That’s the one in front of the Tournament Capital Centre. Directly across from the TCC is a small commercial zone in which a restaurant, some shops and Insight Support Services, a school for special needs children, are located.

It’s a high pedestrian-traffic area in which speed and visibility have been concerns for quite some time. The parents of one of the Insight Support Services kids have started a change.org petition with a call to action.

The petition proposes the creation of a school zone with proper crosswalks for students and the general public. A school zone would force a lower speed limit and increased signage. “Protect our children, community members, seniors and university students from preventable accidents,” it says.

The petition is aimed at Kamloops City council but the school board and TRU have a stake in this as well. Let’s hope they act.

Politicians often take action only when the public demands it. The more people sign the petition, the more likely it is something will happen.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and newspaper editor. He writes five commentaries a week for CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (7836 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca 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 ArmchairMayor.ca 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.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – Another dangerous pedestrian zone on McGill needs action

  1. Just a caution, The word killer is an overreach in this tragic situation. We do not know all the causes. There must be a thorough investigation in progress. Charges may well be laid if the driver was at fault, even if the results offer little comfort to those most effected.

    • Well Frank, every time something like this happens I don’t sleep for a week. I think of my young sons and my wife being pedestrians and facing the same dangers every time they are near a roadway, including the very street I live on. People insist on speeding and driving while distracted… that’s how people get killed. It is past the time to lower speed limits in residential neighborhoods to 30km/hour, to have as many cameras out there as possible to monitor speed and intersections on arterial roads, to rethink they way the city is allowed to develop and to spend citizen money not on an “office of propaganda” (we have one, officially it is called a slightly different name) but on an on-going campaign to re-shape the culture of drivers’ arrogance and entitlement.

  2. The way we design and build the city and neighborhoods are entirely centred on the excessive use of the automobile to this very day. Pedestrians and cyclists have very little priorities and political “visibility”. The killer in this latest incident was more than likely speeding while merging, looking sideways at traffic and was obviously very oblivious to the pedestrian right in front of him. This scenario happens very often, I have personally experienced it many times over the years while out walking or cycling. Road and merging lanes design are conducive to speed and sidewalks and crosswalks offer little protection and visibility to pedestrians and cyclists.

  3. Catherine Ward // November 25, 2019 at 6:15 AM // Reply

    I work at 775 McGill, the intersection where the fatal accident occured. Extremely busy intersection, vehicles from many directions. Yesterday, while pushing my client in his wheelchair, we were almost struck attempting to leave the sidewalk to reach the pedestrian island to cross Mcgill. Lexus SUV blew right in front of us, without even slowing, to head up McGill. Something must be done.

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