Tracey Vopni

AHE brings sidewalks concerns to council

The Arrow Heights Elementary school Parent Advisory Committee is looking for immediate action on installing sidewalks on Nichol Road, chairperson Tracey Vopni told council Tuesday.

“We’re pleased to see there are sidewalks planned in the draft transportation plan,” she said. “The timing is categorized as a high priority. We would like to see it moved to an immediate category. This is our first and foremost request.

“We need sidewalks and we don’t wait any longer than we’ve already been waiting.”

The issue of sidewalks along Nichol Road has come up regularly over the past several months. Parents have said that increased traffic heading to Revelstoke Mountain Resort pose a threat to children walking to school along the busy route.

On Tuesday, Vopni went before council to ask that immediate action be taken to address the situation. She said that not only is there is increased traffic along the road but that the nature of drivers has changed to include tourists, shuttle buses, full-size buses, construction vehicles and other large vehicles.

“They don’t really care about the pedestrians walking along Nichol Road,” she said. “It’s going to eventually result in a tragedy. We’re just hoping it won’t happen.”

Vopni’s presentation outlined the steps the PAC have undertaken to address the situation including collecting traffic data, setting up orange pylons and setting a speed board (which was stolen during the winter).

What she proposed, should sidewalks not be in the cards immediately, was a temporary solution of creating a walkway alongside the road separating pedestrians from cars.

“We would like to continue the dialogue to transform the best solution to reality in a short order,” she said.

Council agreed that something should be done. Councillor Phil Welock said that the issue of Nichol Road came up at every meeting of the road safety committee.

“Every meeting Nichol Road comes up. We are certainly thinking about the children using Nichol Road,” he said. “My way of thinking, the best solution is to get kids and parents off Nichol Road, which is obviously creating problems.”

Brian Mallett, the city’s director of engineering and public works, said staff was looking at solutions, including setting up a safe walking area on Nichol Road or creating a permanent walkway from Pratico Road to the school.

“The best solution is to separate the kids from the cars,” he said.

For her part, Vopni said she hoped something could be in place before next ski season.

“We’re here today and we will continue to be vocal because we need some action that’s long overdue,” she said. “We know it’s been a discussion point for a long time and we now want action.”