Improving pedestrian safety along Shuswap Avenue is a task for the next council.
Three letters were received at the final regular meeting of the outgoing district council, all of which had to do with concerns for safety along Shuswap from Kappel Street to Main Street. One, by Sicamous and District Senior Centre Society president Ann Duncan, asks that council consider putting in a walking/cycling/scooter path along Shuswap. She states those attending the seniors centre, either by foot or electric scooter, are finding the roadway more “difficult and dangerous to remain safe.”
A second letter submitted by Eagle Valley Senior Citizens Housing Society board president James Swallow explains an increasing number of the society’s tenants are using scooters and wheelchairs to access Main Street, and have been informed by police that scooters should be on pedestrian sidewalks and not on the road.
“We would ask that a safe lane in this area should be a priority and ask that this be added to the 2015 budget…,” writes Swallow.
The third letter, by resident Doreen Favel, continues with the theme emphasizing a need for a safe pedestrian pathway along Shuswap. In addition, she asks the district to consider establishing more crosswalks on Shuswap, calling the road an “accident waiting to happen.”
Coun. Fred Busch said he agreed with all the letters and stressed something be considered in next year’s budget deliberations. Coun. Suzanne Carpenter agreed, noting the issue came up repeatedly at the recent healthy community forums she helped co-ordinate.
“Shuswap Avenue came up as how unsafe it is for scooters and the walking – and they’re not only looking for sidwealks for Shuswap, they’re also looking for benches for people to sit on,” said Carpenter. “I’m really hoping the next council takes a look at the healthy community forum outcomes. This was probably, other than transportation, number one. So please, new council, put it in next year’s budget.”
Coun. Terry Rysz said there have been past discussions on this topic, noting there are alternatives to putting in sidewalks.
“We will have to bring this forward in the next council, and I would like to direct staff to make sure this is on the agenda in the near future and that there is definitely need for this,” said Rysz.