Downtown stairs have led to social problems, prompting residents to petition council for their removal
The city will remove a controversial staircase downtown at a cost of $11,000, following a decision on Tuesday by Kamloops council.
The staircase, which connects West Seymour Street and McIntosh Street behind The Mustard Seed, has drawn the ire of residents, who submitted a petition to city hall calling for its removal.
Last year, the city’s bylaws department received 48 calls linked to transients, health and safety, graffiti and alcohol connected to that location, in addition to calls to police for unwanted persons, loitering and drug use.
More than 100 people signed the petition.
Council voted 8-0 to remove the staircase. Coun. Arjun Singh was absent, due to duties as president of the Union of BC Municipalities.
Coun. Mike O’Reilly said he struggled with the decision because the city puts money into active transportation. However, he sided with residents.
“Something needs to be done in that area,” O’Reilly said.
The staircase will be removed as part of the West Victoria Street reconstruction project. Had the city waited until that project was completed, costs of the staircase-removal project would have jumped to $18,000. In addition, the area will be landscaped to prevent loitering.