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August 29, 2012



I used to jaywalk there when I went to school at TRU. I recall this debate going on back then, and I recall noting that jaywalking saved me about 8 minutes each way between my condo on Dagleish, and classes at TRU.

So that is a saving of 16 minutes for every roundtrip to TRU. I would usually have classes in both the morning and evening, so that would be another 16 minutes saved.

Now we are talking about a serious amount of time. That is 32 minutes a day, with classes 5 times a week. 2.5 hrs a week-- 10 hours a month and so on and so on.

This is not an insignificant amount of time for someone. It is very clear why people decide to jaywalk. That entire neighborhood is so entirely hostile to pedestrians, the foot bridge would be the very, very least the City could do to make the community a bit more livable.

I will never live in Kamloops again, primarily because it is such a bad place for pedestrians and transit users. The entire city plan was built up around freeways which slice through neighborhoods, and retail that is a 10 minute car ride away from where anyone lives.

Perhaps some people don't have a problem living like that, but it is a big quality of life issue which chases away a tremendous number of young people.


People who cross the road are too lazy to walk up to the cross walk. If there was a bridge, they'd be too lazy to go up and down the ramp/stairs and just cross the road anyway, unless you fenced the roadway off completely. Thus, just fence one side of the roadway off in its entirety and force people to walk the short distance to the cross walk.

Kaitlin Boyd

You're right Arjun - It is an extremely expensive fix for a simple problem. However, TRU's eventual plans for the university village http://www.tru.ca/vpadmin/university_village.html will substantially increase the number of people living on and commuting to and from campus - their largest scenario includes 16,000 students! With this in mind, I think it is important that the city provide appropriate infrastructure to ensure that people can conveniently and safely get to and from campus. TRU is a huge economic resource for Kamloops - hundreds of international students just arrived at TRU this week to live, eat, and study in our city for the next few years of their lives. Better connections between the apartment buildings where students and faculty live and the campus will help develop the campus further and I would argue, help further develop Kamloops. However, whether or not TRU should be helping fund something like this is a question that definitely needs to be asked.

Dylan Houlihan

While I am biased because I helped out with the various plans that were put together that recommended this as an option, the fact is that if you do the math, the pedestrian bridge can actually save about 1 km of walking (from what I recall), depending on the final location of the overpass. In a community where we are trying to promote walking and cycling as an alternative to driving, this is a critical piece of infrastructure in my opinion, particularly where there is an audience that is likely more willing to walk if the conditions are right. It follows a natural pedestrian desire line unlike the current pedestrian crosswalks. Which is completely different than the crossing situation at NorKam where there are two crossing locations and the side streets funnels to these crossings.


The student union should help to pay for the project. This project would benefit students..but how many of them are tax payers into the civic purse?

It seems like a prudent idea..but the financing of it has to be shared between governments and that includes student governments.

Jeremy Knight

I'm in full agreement with Dylan Houlihan and I take Ted's point as well. My thoughts are, in no order of importance:

1. It will encourage less driving. Many many people will prefer to walk given the right set of circumstances. this is not to suggest the government/taxpayer should bend over backwards and pay out the nose trying to create perfect walking environments. But there is a reality to planning and social and/or health and/or environmental objectives. The stage has to be set somewhat.

2. It will prevent 95% of folks from taking risks and causing, inevitably, a horrific accident and all the fallout from such an event.

3. Bridges can be a very attractive architectural addition to a city and I think this is particularly so in the university area. Considering the inevitable expansion and diversifying of the university physical space and the increase in population density in the area, a stylish, artistically appealing and functional foot bridge would be good civic value.

4. Fences are terribly ugly unless covered with greenery. Litter builds up. A number of holes will be cut into a wire fence. That much I would wager on.

5. As Ted points out, 8 minutes matters each one way trip. For those who get value out of 8 minutes of extra time, OK. But that's not how most of us think of commuting time to an from work/school. It's down time and we look for shortening the journey.

Buck up and build the bridge I say.

Ben Cloutier

Typically when we look at things Price is the first thing to enter our minds but I would ask councillors to skip the cost for a second and ask the question that really matters. Do we need a pedestrian bridge here? If the answer is yes then build it. We can always bargain for the most reasonable priced bridge but if it is an actual need we shouldn`t be so hung up on price. If our child needs braces do we base it on price and say no its too expensive? of course not but we will seek out the best price. To me this seems like a very high risk safety issue. When two kids died on Popp street a new light fixture was installed and since then no deaths have occured. Why don`t we take some preventative steps this time while we have the opportunity?

Jim Piderman

I did a project for a course about 10 years ago on this topic. The main jaywalking spot is about 115 metres below the intersection. It made more sense then to reduce the conflict between pedestrians and left turning vehicles. The new route north of the university probably diverts a number of vehicles away from the conflict area. The project recommended closing the north crosswalk and diverting all pedestrians to a ramp accessed overhead crossing estimated to cost about $500,000.


If you put a pedestrian bridge there, people will still jaywalk rather than climb the stairs. Put a fence and people will climb it. Put a sign people ignore it. Give them a fine they get mad. People get hurt ignoring all the warnings and everyone blames the city.

Pedestrian bridges add new problems. Will it be caged to prevent jumpers, stone throwers, and other antics? Will it have to be de-iced all winter? Will transport trucks hit it?

I like the fence idea. I'll guess it's a lot less expensive.

Dylan Houlihan

I agree with some of the previous comments and think this could be a project where they could be partnership funding such that the City doesn't pay the full cost. Heck, given the profile of the bridge, maybe an organization such as Rotary or a private company could pay for sponsorship of the bridge to help alleviate costs.

That being said, there are a number of potential financial benefits to the City if this project can reduce congestion in the Summit/McGill/Columbia area by alleviating the need for other, much more costly transportation infrastructure development if it shifts enough people to walking/cycling from driving to campus, not forgetting the environmental benefits and the community benefits of having better connected neighbourhoods for all modes of travel. I'd rather see investments in this rather than in infrastructure such as the next phase of the Hillside extension, the 6th Avenue extension or a downtown parkade...


No matter where along that stretch you put the bridge, some people are going to be too lazy to walk to it. There are two prominent spots for jaywalkers there (I know because I've used them both many, many times). If you put it down where it cuts down time for those coming up from Dalgleish apartments and townhouses, then the UCH kids aren't going to walk down to it, and will keep crossing where they do. If you put it up there, the Dalgleish kids will still cross Summit down by where the off-ramp from the school joins Summit (southbound). Fence the whole meridian with one of those tall cement barriers (you can even ask for bids from artists and make it a long flat sculpture or something so it's not an eyesore) so people can't snip it with wire cutters, and make people plan their time better. I'll freely admit that I jaywalked because it saved time...but I saved that time so I could waste it. I think you'll find that if you build a bridge, you'll have to do this anyway, so start with that and start working on bridge plans for if Dalgliesh rental prices start to drop because the demand to live goes down there. I don't think it'll happen.

Arjun Singh

Thanks for the great, thoughtful comments folks!


the 6th Avenue extension or a downtown parkade...


I have to agree with many comments. I believe a bridge is the best option, I also believe there is a dire need for a heavy duty fence to curb jay-walkers. If we are desperate to save costs, as many officials have been so eager to say to appeal to their electorate, perhaps there is a temporary middle ground. Arjun discusses a solution like the Tranquille road fence, which in the direct area has numerous pedestrian controlled intersections. This solution is very common in Kamloops and I believe would alleviate stress for pedestrians, for cars, for traffic enforcement, and for budget weary politicians. I understand semi's would probably not be the happiest about a pedestrian controlled intersection in the UCH/Dalgleish area, it has been implemented on hills in the Kamloops areas (Columbia street, 1st, Summit Dr.) I also see that installing a pedestrian controlled cross walk here would be more difficult at this location because it would involve installing sidewalks, more road lights, and the signals themselves, I believe this is a middle ground that can appeal to everyone.

It would also help the right hand/ left hand turning from McGill onto Summit North who have to wait for pedestrians during rush hours as they would use the cross walk.

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