Quinn Khadikin has been having trouble over the last few weeks getting out of his driveway.
Traffic detoured from Tranquille Road has ended up on his usually quiet residential street.
“It’s been awful,” Khadikin said, noting traffic day and night, with the worst between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
“Maybe like 10 cars in a half an hour [pre-construction]. Now it’s like 200.”
Sewer and road work has shuttered a portion of Tranquille Road, the typically busy thoroughfare where it connects North Kamloops with Brocklehurst. As a result, the city has set up a traffic detour, which is currently at Holt Street, Greenfield Avenue and Southill Street. Signage is clearly laid out in the area, directing drivers and restricting speed to 30 kilometres per hour.
Many motorists aren’t following the rules, however, buzzing by and cutting from Holt Street through Sunnycrest Avenue to shorten commutes.
The result is significantly more traffic on a narrow residential street. One resident in recent weeks erected a sign asking people to slow down.
People still aren’t getting the message. KTW counted the number of vehicles detouring from Tranquille Road and 17 of 25 vehicles turned at Sunnycrest Avenue.
Further down, in front of Ridgeview Lodge seniors home, a makeshift crosswalk has appeared. Someone has taken the liberty of placing white tape in the shapes of crosswalk-style rectangles at the intersection of Sunnycrest Avenue and Desmond Street, filling them in with chalk that has already worn from the traffic.
It is unclear who placed the crosswalk, but pedestrians appear to be fed up with the busy streets, seeking safer options for walking in the area. Two who spoke with KTW said they would like to see the homemade crosswalk made official, at least during construction.
They suggested additional crosswalks in the area, as well as flaggers.
“It’s crazy,” one pedestrian at the intersection said. “I think there should be flaggers around here or something. But then it’s not just on this street, it’s on the other street over, Southill. Very fast traffic. No respect for pedestrians. I feel for people in wheelchairs.”
City of Kamloops capital projects manager Darren Crundwell said the city’s bylaws department is taking down the makeshift crosswalk, which was not put in place by the city nor its contractor. He said that crosswalks are required to follow strict guidelines, which is why it will be taken down.
Asked if he is concerned about drivers not abiding by the city’s detour, he said it is a concern but challenging to control. He cited people who sped during construction on West Victoria Street and said the city plans to purchase more speed readers, with the problem only getting worse.
“It’s always an issue,” Crundwell said. “
We do try to get enforcement out there, we’ve put more speed readers up. But, unfortunately, we can’t have police sitting there. We ask but they have other obligations, as well. That’s really the only thing that helps, though.”
Khadikin would like to see the detour rerouted further down to Parkcrest Avenue and his street closed off to all but local traffic. Crundwell said the local traffic signage may be considered. At the end of the day, however, the city is asking motorists to follow directions.
“We’re essentially asking people to obey the law, right?” Crundwell said.
The detour will remain in place for most of August.