An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE VALLEYVIEW FRONTAGE ROAD has resurfaced for discussion.
The situation there is a disaster waiting to happen. The point at which Vicars Road intersects with the frontage road and hits the East Trans Canada has got to be the most dangerous intersection in Kamloops.
At City council’s development and sustainability committee, Coun. Bill Sarai asked for a study into what could be done to ensure that transport trucks stopping on the frontage road can do so safely.
The Vicars intersection wasn’t mentioned specifically but it provides me an opportunity to rant about it. It’s the one the big rigs typically use to pull off the highway and swing onto the frontage road to park. There are usually several of them lined up.
They don’t seem to create many problems there specifically but they’re part of a bigger issue because, as they pull off the highway, they enter a very tight, congested space as traffic comes down Vicars or the frontage road — some wanting to go straight ahead and others wanting to turn left or right and everybody meeting in the middle.
So, hopefully, the City and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure can come up with something that will provide safe parking for the commercial trucks but there’s no point in carving out parking spaces without taking a serious look at how they get to those spaces.
The options are limited. Extending the bypass to avoid Valleyview and instead run below Juniper is no longer an option. Neither is moving the frontage road further from the highway and reconfiguring the intersections. Both options are too expensive and controversial.
Wouldn’t it be possible to add traffic signals at all points of the intersection and synchronize them so all those vehicles could avoid each other?
Traffic engineers would probably find reasons that it would be impractical, but it’s time for some creative thinking on how to fix this disaster of an intersection.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at email@example.com.