Casino told to be ready for questions on traffic - Kamloops This Week
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Casino told to be ready for questions on traffic

Casino told to be ready for questions on traffic

Gateway Casinos will stick to a traffic-improvement plan devised by the city of Kamloops when its bid to build an expanded casino at the former Rona store in Aberdeen goes to a public hearing later this month.

Gateway wants to move Lake City Casino on Victoria Street to 1555 Versatile Dr. The new casino would have more dining options, expanded gambling options, a 500-seat amphitheatre and a new name: Cascades Casino.

City staff have recommended against the plan, pointing to policies that favour keeping entertainment options downtown.

Earlier this month, city council agreed to give the plan a public hearing but told Gateway to expect questions on how it will alleviate traffic congestion in the area — an issue flagged by many in the Aberdeen area.

Tanya Gabara, public-relations director for Gateway, said the company is in favour of a traffic solution drafted by the city, ICBC and the Ministry of Transportation, which would include a roundabout and new turning lanes.

Who would pay for the major improvements, however, is still in question.

“We’re still working with the city to figure out costs and that kind of thing. We’ve just determined what the solution would be,” Gabara said, adding the casino sees itself as “accelerating” road improvements the city would otherwise make in the next decade.

“We want the solution to happen prior to us going in there, obviously, because it’s easier and there’s less disruption to our clients once we’re open, so we’re accelerating that plan,” she said.

Gabara said Gateway’s traffic study predicts its peak traffic time would be between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m., outside of the peak hours of other businesses in the area.

Gateway estimates the casino would generate about 523 car trips per hour during its peak time, which it says is much lower than what other nearby businesses draw.

Gabara said details around the timing of the upgrades and their funding would likely come once more engineering and design work is completed.

The public hearing is on Aug. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Coast Kamloops Hotel and Conference Centre, 1250 Rogers Way.

Members of the public can also comment on the project in advance by writing or emailing City Hall by no later than 4 p.m. on Aug. 18.

Gateway CEO Tony Santo told media last month if it gains the necessary city approvals, Cascades could be built within 12 to 15 months.

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9 comments

  1. how can they even think of building another one of these death traps, is nobody considering the loss of life these traffic circles create, it will be carnage people, think of how many people have been killed in juniper alone, not to mention down by riverside park, will somebody please think of the children, kamloops driver have a hard time with straight sections of road, add an intersection with no lights or stop signs, i don’t even want to think about it

    • They work great in Europe. We need more here.

    • Do you want to expand on that premise Pothead ? Can you link to any articles or police reports to all of these deaths in those two places , or are you just blowing smoke ? I am not a big fan of round a bouts, but let’s have some facts here.

    • Don’t worry pothead, I got the joke.

      I can remember when someone wrote a letter to the KDN about how big of a death trap the roundabout at ISC would be and that people would die there. Sigh. Roundabouts work and it’s about time the costco intersection had one.

  2. “City staff have recommended against the plan, pointing to policies that favour keeping entertainment options downtown.” And, the definition of a “policy” is…a mold into which one places one’s head in order to cover one’s butt. That’s what is happening here. The staff’s position is flawed. Firstly, it is unlikely that people who visit the casino downtown actually spend a lot of time in other parts of the down town area. They go downtown to play at the casino; and, once that’s done they don’t have much money left to visit other areas downtown! Secondly, the size of the casino downtown is far too small, old and dingy. Kamloops really could use a more modern, larger, attractive casino.

  3. A roundabout or two is needed up there regardless of whether the Casino goes in the old Rona building. The current traffic patterns are a disaster. Between traffic exiting the Chevron, and the stop sign from Costco onto Hugh Allan, and the exit off and on the highway, its a wonder no one has been killed yet! Stupid design!

  4. the fact that city hall is against this idea, proves that it is the right idea

  5. enoughofthisalready

    Only in Kamloops do you have city engineers who earn $150,000 per year and design and produce bicycle bridges that have $2.5 million over runs and cost over 5 million bucks and are used by practically no body except Donavan Cavers on his photo op day. They graduated years ago by designing killer intersections in Valley View, got raises and moved on the bigger and better mistakes. Even the Armchair Mayor thinks they are a joke and he is the guy that is still in charge. As for circles, take a trip to Bellingham via the Sumas crossing and you will experience eight four lane circles marred only by smashed up cars from Kamloops driven by school teachers on holiday from their strike action.

  6. The intersection where the proposed roundabout/traffic change would be going needs the change REGARDLESS of the casino going there or not. This is not the casino’s responsibility nor problem, the city should have been dealing with that intersection on its’ own years ago.

    That intersection is hell because of the traffic Costco generates already. This will just be the same amount of traffic going on longer into the evening.

    It really sounds like the city wants to stop the move by making the casino ‘responsible’ for something they should have fixed years ago that has nothing to do with the casino at all.

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