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EDITORIAL – New signals at Highland intersection but what about Vicars?

Highland Road intersection. (Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

THE INTERSECTION at Highland Road and Valleyview Drive got a new traffic signal yesterday.

It features a red flashing light in all four directions for 72 hours before going into full effect with the signal.

It’s part of a larger upgrade along Valleyview Drive and will, according to the City, “enhance the safety and capacity” of the intersection. Time will tell if it’s worth the expense. Some residents who regularly use the intersection say the current four-way stop works just fine.

Others say a roundabout would make a lot more sense.

But it’s a done deal now. So could we please do something about a genuinely dangerous intersection not far from Highland and Valleyview?

I’m talking, of course, about the intersection of Vicars Road and the Trans Canada Highway. It is, without question, the worst one in the city.

The multiple intersections of the frontage road with the highway and Vicars, in close proximity to each other, have been a disaster waiting to happen for decades. The only upgrade — if you can call it that — was to the traffic lights a couple of years ago.

Early this year, Coun. Bill Sarai asked staff for a study on what can be done to make sure transport trucks stopping on the frontage road can do so safely.

Well, of course, there’s not much point in providing better parking for big trucks without dealing with the bigger issue of how they get there safely.

So what’s become of Sarai’s request? That intersection, of course, involves a federal-provincial highway so it’s up to the senior levels of government to fix the problem, but the City needs to get them to the table to talk about it.

Vicars is one of those things that governments will ignore as long as nothing truly disastrous happens. But logic suggests it definitely will, and it should be resolved before it does, not after it’s too late.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops, former TNRD director and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a recipient of the Jack Webster Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award. He can be reached at mrothenburger@armchairmayor.ca.

About Mel Rothenburger (9358 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.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – New signals at Highland intersection but what about Vicars?

  1. I heartily agree about the Vicars Rd intersection – a disaster waiting to happen.

  2. I suspect the roundabout at Valleyview and Highland was not chosen as an option due to the lack of available land and the topography of the area. While it appears that there is land available to the south a roundabout there would’ve required a hefty amount of work to realign Valleyview Drive to feed into it. In regards to Vicar Road though the overall best option would be to prohibit large transport trucks from using the frontage road. With two large truck stops at either end of town it would be only a matter of learning different habits for the truckers. Both truck stops offer a much more safe highway on and off, fuel and fast food.

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