“The time has come,” the Walrus said, “To talk of many things: Of shoes and ships and sealing-wax; Of cabbages and kings; And why the sea is boiling hot; And whether pigs have wings.”
— Lewis Carroll
When I consider City council and administration lately, the above quote immediately springs to mind. I don’t know what world they inhabit but it certainly is not one that I can fathom.
Most recent was the reaction to the tragedy at Lac-Mégantic with the rail car explosions.
The only reaction I heard from council was councillor Pat Wallace worrying about CPR, no mention of the CNR mainline running adjacent to Brocklehurst residential neighbourhoods.
Guess the North Shore really doesn’t matter, eh, Pat?
What really befuddles me though is that council and the administration failed to notice the greater potential for this type of disaster in the form of large tanker trucks (I’m told upwards of 100 per day) running up and down Tranquille at 70 km/h in heavy traffic every day!
What really hurts is that there is an alternative route — when Brocklehurt was a district municipality, it required the subdivision off Parkcrest backing onto the railway to set aside 50 to 60 feet as a right of way as an access for the airport.
Since it amalgamated with Kamloops in 1973, a number of subdivisions and developments have been permitted by the City between Parkcrest and the CNR line without the right of way requirement leaving the City with a patchwork of property for a right of way but not a complete route.
The City paid for a technical researcher in recent years to look at the traffic problem but didn’t tell him that there of the possibility of a third route (his study was limited to Tranquille vs. Ord). Then the City used his conclusion that while Tranquille is unsatisfactory, Ord would be worse as an excuse to do nothing!
The administration has hung its hat on a report that states that another route will be necessary when the population of Kamloops reaches 120,000; what bunk.
The route was needed years ago and the longer it’s delayed the more likely we will be faced with a Lac-Mégantic type situation. The cost of the alternate route is probably small compared to “Randy’s Road” from Summit to McGill and would actually benefit a large portion of the populace by making their lives immeasurably safer.
Aside from the safety benefits of a new route, consider the impact upon arrivals at the airport coming into Kamloops for the first time on a road which has landscaping and other attractive features to give a good “first impression.”
It may be time to start looking for candidates for the next municipal election that care about all of Kamloops and who will acknowledge visibly that the North Shore is an integral part of the City worthy of attention without threats!