The entries (gateways) to any city create the first impression for visitors. Peter Mutrie (just retired from the North Shore Business Improvement Association) says that a gateway is like the front door of our house; it says a lot about who we are. And truly, we only get one chance to make a good first impression for arriving visitors.
Kamloops is a beautiful and vibrant city, but do our gateways reliably show Kamloops in that light? Some do.
Others could use some polishing, and one badly needs work!
Around 275,000 passengers use the Kamloops Airport every year, with the number climbing at 4.4 per cent per year. Average traffic volume on Tranquille Road heading into and out of Brocklehurst is 22,000 vehicles per day (fourth most travelled arterial road in Kamloops). The largest neighborhood population is Brocklehurst with 13,000 people. Tranquille on the Lake is expected to add 2,250 to 4,000 residents to the area.
The township of Brocklehurst amalgamated with the City of Kamloops in 1973 bringing with it a well-established residential neighborhood with large lots, modest houses and one main commercial centre. The make-up of Brocklehurst has changed little over the past 20 years. The Tranquille corridor is just "there," ambling through the city as it did fifty years ago.
Imagine arriving at the Kamloops Airport and exiting the gates to find a corridor/oasis that exudes spectacular energy; people walking their dogs, runners, baby strollers, cyclists; all smiling, some stopping to socialize along their journey, a uniquely landscaped and lit thoroughfare that captures the beauty and character of the neighborhood - happy, vibrant and proud. The oasis continues to a commercial hub with community oriented shopping, restaurants, entertainment, and housing, all presenting Kamloops as the energetic, inviting and pleasurable city that it is.
Tranquille Road can be an entry to the city that makes visitors want to linger and spread the word about what a great place we have here, or perhaps consider relocating here.
As the old adage goes - there's a time and a place for everything and the time for gateway improvement is now!
Tranquille corridor improvement meets all of the objectives of the Kamloops Sustainability Plan - reducing automobile use in the community, protecting and improving air quality, protecting the natural environment, implementing other transportation and energy initiatives to reduce emissions, optimizing health and wellness outcomes in the community and supporting development that creates interconnectivity between existing neighborhoods.
Apart from the sustainability benefits, improvements to the Brocklehurst-airport gateway will produce countless economic spin-offs for tourism, business development and encourage private investment in further improvements.
This project hits every dimension of what Kamloops wants to be - sustainable, healthy, and environmentally and economically sound.
City staff will present a vision and cost analysis for the Airport-Brocklehurst Gateway in June 2013. Now is the time to get behind gateway improvement. Talk to your councillors and make sure they know you support gateway improvement. Let's do what mum told us to - put our best foot forward!
Nelly Dever can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Kamloops Daily News