As expected, Kamloops council approves pathway extension

A $2-million multi-use pathway slated for Summit Drive will proceed, with $500,000 from a grant application, if successful, and the remaining $1.5 million coming from the city’s annual active transportation budget. The pathway will extend into upper Sahali from the Xgett’em’ Trail through Peterson Creek

A $2-million multi-use pathway slated for Summit Drive will proceed, after receiving a green light from city council.

On Tuesday, council voted unanimously to authorize staff to submit a grant application for $500,000 from the BC Active Transportation Infrastructure Grants Program in order to build a multi-use pathway along Summit Drive from the corner of Notre Dame Drive to South Whiteshield Crescent.

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Coun. Dale Bass was on vacation and, therefore, absent.

The remainder of the project will be funded via the city’s annual active transportation budget. If the grant application is not successful, the $500,000 will be taken from the existing active transportation budget.

Coun. Kathy Sinclair called the pathway project a “quick win” that will improve connectivity by connecting bike paths in upper Sahali with Xgett’em’ (pronounced “hucktum”) Trail through Peterson Creek.

She wondered, however, what factored into the city’s decision to pursue that project over improving pedestrian and cyclist access to Thompson Rivers University.

Coun. Arjun Singh added that the McGill Corridor has become concern to pedestrians.

In addition, Coun. Bill Sarai said it is difficult to justify building a “want” like the pathway to parents concerned about a lack of sidewalks in their neighbourhoods near elementary schools.

“I hope we start prioritizing our elementary schools and really think about the children,” Sarai said.

Staff noted many factors went into determining which active transportation project to pursue, including grant timelines and work already done on the Summit Drive project.

City of Kamloops CAO David Trawin said staff rely on technical data to inform such decisions, based on public input, council priorities and professionals.

Mayor Ken Christian noted that with provincial funding, “we might be building this with 75-cent dollars.” 

The city plans to start the project this summer.

The next major project is expected to be an overpass on Summit Drive, for which the city has set aside $870,000 from its 2019 budget.

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