Re: (Story: ‘City set to buy land, build fence along West Victoria Street,” Friday, Oct. 25):
The news article states the location of the would-be fence is on the north side of West Victoria Street “stretching from west of the Sun Life Financial building to the Overlanders Bridge.”
Canadian Pacific Railway owns the land. It is a narrow strip sandwiched between the CPR’s tracks and the roadway.
The city’s administration is prepared to buy the land from CPR, landscape it, build a seven-foot-tall fence and foot the bill.
The reason for this generosity — safety.
There is no fencing on the south side of the tracks, but there is a chain link fence on the north side.
According to the KTW article, the “railway has safety concerns regarding people crossing the track and cutting a chain link fence to access the South Thompson River.”
It isn’t the responsibility of the city to prevent trespassers from crossing the tracks.
The Railway Safety Act is very clear on this point, requiring “railway companies to erect and maintain fences” on either side of the tracks.
It makes one wonder why, if the CPR is the entity with safety concerns, the city would be stuck holding the bill for a fence?
The KTW story quotes a price of about $500,000 for the fence alone.
The CPR is valued at just about $7 billion. Surely they can afford it.