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REPORTING · 16th August 2010
Walter McFarlane
Paul Silvestre took the stand at the City Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 3rd to speak about sidewalks and crosswalks in the Kildala Neighbourhood.

“The reason I’m here tonight is for the walkways and crosswalks along Quatsino Boulevard or lack there of,” said Silvestre.

He showed the Council pictures from the Council Package which showed no crosswalks at Lahakas and Quatsino where the crosswalk ends at the RCMP building and there is no crosswalk or sidewalk access into strawberry meadows. The next picture showed the sidewalk ending at the corner of Columbia and Quatsino with no crosswalk. The third picture was the end of Kuldo and Quatsino where there is no safe way to cross to the soccer fields.

“And in case you didn’t know, that’s where the soccer fields are,” reminded Silvestre. “And there is constantly kids going there to soccer practice, soccer games and waiting for traffic and sometimes dodging traffic from what I’ve seen.”

His fourth picture showed the lack of sidewalk across from the hospital and the grass worn down there. He stated the criteria for a crosswalk was 600 cars an hour as he had been told by City Hall. He pointed out with this criteria, there should not be a crosswalk in Kitimat.

“It may take 600 cars for a crosswalk but just one for a tragedy,” said Silvestre.

He stated there are families living in strawberry meadows that have children going to school. He quoted from BC Pedestrian Crossing Control Manual, the motor vehicle act and the Drivers Handbook, the latter stated: “An unmarked crosswalk is an extension of a sidewalk which crosses the road at an intersection,” read Silvestre.

He asked Council when they would have safe crossings and requested a written response. Mayor Monaghan thanked him for the presentation.

Under new business, Councillor Mario Feldhoff made a motion to submit the concerns of Sylvester to both the Advisory Planning Committee and the 2011 budget. Municipal Manager Trafford Hall suggested this should also be sent to the Traffic Committee. However, Hall also pointed out crosswalks are an unsafe feature as there are more accidents because of them, suggesting people, under certain circumstances because they reduce pedestrians reliance on their own senses.

Feldhoff pointed out the APC would be in touch with Engineering and as the Council Representative on the Traffic Committee, he has yet been asked to attend a meeting. He concluded the other departments would be able to discuss the crosswalks in the area of Strawberry Meadows and those in the surrounding area. The motion was called and carried.
The Amazing Disappearing Act
Comment by Daniel Carter on 19th August 2010
about 2 weeks ago, A crosswalk appeared at the intersection of Quatsino, Columbia and Cranberry streets. It looked like a very professional job. I believe it was there for a day or 2 then it seemed to have vanished. I believe the district blacked it out for some reason. Either it was a mistake made by the district and they covered their mistake, or it was placed there by some other party trying to jump ahead of the query and the district had it erased. All of the crosswalks that I have seen in Kitimat has a sidewalk in unison with it. There are no sidewalks along the entire length of Quatsino Blvd. I would begin to think that in order to have a crosswalk across Quatsino would require a sidewalk with it. One has to wait until the proper paperwork allows for one. Due time will tell.