PLANNING IS THE REASON we get up every day and the water runs, the lights turn on, the garbage is picked up, the internet is working, and the world keeps turning.
It’s hard to believe, with so many things shut down, that things keep working. And not just working, but working as they should.
Even as the majority of us stay home, the essential work continues.
The planning that happened in the background, years in the making, and generally unnoticed by most, is what has let things run so smoothly now.
Which is why it shouldn’t be any surprise, that even as the COVID-19 pandemic has shut so much down, the planning continues.
Take, for instance, our transportation system. In the next few months, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) will plan for possible upgrades to highways in Kamloops.
Currently, the MOTI is studying all highways through Kamloops to look at short to long term solutions. working on a corridor study to assess short, medium, and long-term solutions. A report is expected in the Fall 2020.
One of the areas they will look at is Highway 1 from the Highway 5 interchange to Dallas. From 2014 to 2018, this stretch of highway has experienced over 400 crashes. Every intersection along the Valleyview Dallas corridor has had crashes in recent years. The three worst intersections on this corridor are the Highway 1/Highway 5 interchange with 92 crashes, Vicars Road and Highway 1 with 99 crashes, and Dallas Drive off and on-ramps and Highway 1 with 54 crashes.
A dream for some would be a highway bypass through Valleyview. I’d be happy with plans to upgrade the Highway 1/Highway 5 exchange.
Kamloops is a hub of highways. We cannot get from one side of the city to the other without going on a highway. Our city relies on the goods brought in by truck to feed and sustain us. Without past highway planning, and future work, the goods would not flow as easily.
Highways don’t just deliver goods and transport people. They need to be safe as well. Every crash has the potential of injury or death. Safe highways are important to all of us, but especially for those, such as Dallas residents, who have no way to get to town except on the highway.
Highways and pandemics might not seem to have a lot in common. But, day by day, our city has continued to run because of good past planning. It’s reassuring, that even as the pandemic continues, planning for our future has not been forgotten.
Nancy Bepple is a former City councillor of Kamloops with a strong interest in community building projects.