An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
KAMLOOPS HIGHWAYS are up for review and I’ll bet the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is going to get an earful.
The focus is the provincial transportation network within the city and Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc and aims at identifying improvements to everything from cycling to daily commutes to commercial traffic. The public is invited to provide input through a survey between now and Sept. 16.
It’s not hard to think of things that need fixing in the highway system through Kamloops. The section in Valleyview, with its dangerous intersections and dysfunctional frontage road has to top the list.
That stretch has been identified as a major problem for decades, ever since the Peterson Creek bypass was constructed. There are two basic solutions: expropriate properties along the frontage road so the intersections can be fixed, or extend the bypass along the bluffs below Juniper and avoid the Valleyview commercial area altogether.
No provincial government, so far, has had the courage to do either one.
Speaking of intersections, the one at the Yellowhead Highway and East Shuswap Road is a bottleneck and a major accident waiting to happen. The answer is already on the books — a roundabout at the foot of the entrance to Sun Rivers to relieve traffic congestion at the choke point. But while the plans for it were drawn up years ago, so far there’s no sign of action.
And when will we start building bike lanes into highways in urban areas? The Trans Canada both east and west, the Yellowhead going north and the old Highway 5A heading south all require extreme caution, a good amount of courage and even a dash of foolhardiness on the part of cyclists.
Answers are easy to put on paper; putting them into practice involves billions of dollars. But everything has to start with a plan.
No doubt, we all have our favourite aggravations with the local highways system. What are yours?
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.