Based on online comments and considering the vote tallies thus far in our weekly online Question of the Week, it seems there is not a massive appetite among KTW readers for the elimination of one-way streets downtown.
The fate of the one-way corridors — with the focus more on Seymour Street than Lansdowne Street or First and Third avenues — becomes a topic du jour every so often and has again this week, thanks to comments from Coun. Denis Walsh.
As is noted on today’s front page, Walsh has suggested the city again look at possibly turning downtown one-way streets into two-way routes, arguing the latter are more pedestrian-friendly and better for businesses.
However, having a few one-way streets — east-west on Lansdowne and Seymour streets and north-south on First and Third avenues — does wonders to keep the flow of traffic moving.
Every major city has such streets for similar reasons. Anybody who has driven in Vancouver, Seattle, Portland or San Francisco knows how the one-way streets help immensely in getting around the cities.
While it is true a one-way thoroughfare like Seymour Street is not as welcoming to pedestrians as is Victoria Street, there are ways city council and staff can enhance such roads.
Last summer’s pedestrian plaza on Fourth Avenue, between Seymour and Victoria, is a prime example.
With the city looking at developing a strategy to improve transportation options downtown, now is the time to gather ideas from within Kamloops and from other cities on how to improve not only one-way corridors, but all of downtown.
Open houses last year on the Downtown Plan yielded a variety of suggestions that can possibly be incorporated into ideas that flow from the transportation options talk.