More than 100 politicians, homeowners and children marched along Todd Road in Barnhartvale on Friday to protest the unsafe condition of its main artery.
Pedestrians must walk along portions of Todd Road and residents say it’s just a matter of time before tragedy strikes.
“It’s perfect timing,” said Fawn Holland, of the march.
Holland said her family is considering selling their home because of the danger the road poses.
“I’ve been thinking about this road quite a while, especially since I’ve had (a baby) three months ago,” she said.
March co-organizer Christine Watson said she was thrilled with the turnout given it was in the middle of a workday.
“People are saying it’s about time. We actually had a comment from a Translink driver saying this road is the worst road in Kamloops to drive.”
Todd Road was noted in the B.C. Automobile Association’s Top 10 list of worst roads in the province this year.
Two BCAA “guardian angels” — road safety awareness employees — attended the march dressed as angels in support of the campaign.
“I think this is worse (than most parts of the city) because there are no sidewalks,” said Tammy McCulloch, who also happens to be a Barnhartvale resident.
Out of a City of Kamloops priority list of 60 pedestrian projects, Todd Road is tied at eighth along with 22 others, said Marvin Kwiatkowski development and engineering services director.
He marched along with the residents, saying he looked forward to hearing their concerns directly.
The Todd Road project estimate is $500,000 but that’s for the entire length, not just the problem spots, he said. Doing the work in piecemeal would only cost more.
Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Todd Stone walked a length of road with a few residents last week. While he was unable to attend the march on Friday, he told The Daily News the previous day that the road is clearly treacherous.
“There’s no question — there are a few sections that if you don’t literally jump off the edge of the road you potentially could get hit by a vehicle,” said Stone. “As someone who’s got three kids all in school now, it certainly gives you pause for thought.”
Stone suggested that federal Canada Economic Action Plan community improvement funding might be available for the project. The grant would have to be initiated by the City and matched by provincial and municipal dollars.
“I certainly have mentioned it to the mayor and they’re going to do what they can,” said Stone.
Acting mayor Nelly Dever, who also joined the march, said the City is “absolutely” interested in the funding.
“Anytime that a grant comes along, especially when you’re in partnership with the federal and provincial governments, it’s something that we have to give serious consideration to.”