EDITORIAL – Westsyde Road project is a good start but there’s a long way to go

(Image: Mel Rothenburger)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

GOT A CARD in the mail this week informing me that work is about to start on a new multi-use pathway along Westsyde Road between Batchelor Drive and Westmount Drive. The work will be completed in early June.

I assume I received it because of my mailing address — I pass through that section of Westsyde Road every time I commute to town. Over the years I’ve observed a lot of bad behaviour on that road and I have a few suggestions.

The project mentioned on the card is only a couple of blocks long but it’s a good project. It will include new pathway lighting, markings and widened bus-stop areas. But much more needs to be done on Westsyde Road all the way to Westsyde elementary on the north end of the community and beyond.

Improvements have certainly been made to lighting and crosswalks. Tragic pedestrian-vehicle accidents were once a common occurrence but are now rare and the City is to be commended.

However, drivers still interpret the 60 km/h speed limit as meaning 80, making the road dangerous for cyclists, who take their life in their hands. More enforcement would make a difference.

While the new project will extend the multi-use pathway already in place at the south end of Westsyde, that pathway soon peters out into a regular pedestrian sidewalk, and then disappears altogether.

What’s needed here is a co-operative venture between the City and the provincial government to build a proper multi-use pathway all the way out to the shopping centre and connect it to a bicycle lane running to the City limits at Jensen’s Island and continuing north into provincial jurisdiction.

Westsyde Road is highly popular with recreational cyclists but the shoulders are so narrow in parts of it that it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

So, the City’s new project is a great start, but a reminder of how far — literally — we’ve got to go.<

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

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

(Image: Armchair Mayor)

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3 Comments on EDITORIAL – Westsyde Road project is a good start but there’s a long way to go

  1. Sheila Park // March 23, 2023 at 9:03 AM // Reply

    The city needs to make the entire city ( except for special zones) 50 K
    then people will know the speed to go ( not that they will all necessarily follow it).
    Fortune Drive – Almost a total residential area. Why was that ever 60 K coming 50 K from the Bridge. Yes folks the bridge is 50 K.
    – Westsyde Road. Drove it for 6 years and set my cruise control. And Mel you are right nearly everyone passed me and they were not happy I was doing 60 K. It is a total residential area.
    – Columbia Street from the Trans Canada at by Notre Dame to just above the hospital 60 K. I have raised this issue at city meetings.
    Why??? Well it made sense when I moved here in 1973 and it was country there. But it has not been country for a long time and at McGill it then becomes student ville
    with all the students from TRU and Beattie Elementary taking their lives in their hands.
    So city let us get consistent and to residents lets try to remember to do the speed limit. Please do not get mad at me because I do.
    PS. It might help hospital wait times. Give that some thought. And that is a topic for another opinion piece.

  2. All of what you have mentioned are good suggestions. I am a recreational cyclist and a bike commuter and I see the needs and the dangers every where I go. More multi-use pathways make sense financially, environmentally, recreationally. Then there is the problem of those e-bikes which are usually piloted way too fast. But that is a subject for another editorial.

    However there are too many road projects happening everywhere in the city. Projects which take too long to complete as contractors are held up by material supplies issues and lack of workers. Those projects snag traffic costing all other users (including plenty of small businesses operators) larger and larger amounts of time to get anywhere.
    Lorne Street rehabilitation is an example of the havoc those road closures cause.
    Lastly the increased noise and pollutants affect every one negatively.
    The City should do things differently.

    • Sheila Park // March 23, 2023 at 9:10 AM // Reply

      Totally agree. The projects need to get done but the planning department for these projects need to discuss with residents of the area.
      I still give my head a shake when I remember when the bridge was being done. Residents used the Halston I believe the city recommended it. And then they dug up all of 12th St at the same time. A major link to North Kamloops and to areas of Brock and North Kamloops. What were the planners thinking.
      Motorists and cyclists please remember those city residents called pedestrians.

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