Lindsay Jakus said she still hears Stormy meowing at the backdoor. She’ll go to let her in, like she has for the past three years. Momentarily forgetting that something’s missing.
“I’ll get to the door and realize she’s not there,” said Jakus on her porch. Behind her cars zoom past on Airport Way, near the turnoff to Williamson Lake.
It was on this stretch of road a vehicle struck and killed Stormy earlier this month. The driver did not stop.
Jakus was at work at the time and a neighbour found the lifeless cat.
She knew there was a risk letting her cat go outside, but Jakus said she couldn’t deny Stormy that right.
|Jakus said Stormy was a wild cat. She like her time outside, exploring. (Submitted)|
“She was a wild cat. She loved the outdoors. It’s a bit of a jungle out here.”
While the speed limit is 50 km/hr outside her home, Jakus said many disregard it.
“People act like it’s a speedway.”
It’s unknown if the vehicle that struck Stormy was speeding. Regardless, the amount of speeding on that stretch of road, said Jakus, makes accidents more likely.
Near Jakus’s home is Red Devil Hill, which is a crossing for painted turtles. The species is on the province’s blue list, meaning they are considered vulnerable. Jakus said up to three turtles have been killed this year.
Jakus worries speeding in her neighbourhood could lead to a person’s death.
“It’s scary when you have kids. Could it be mine?” Jakus has a three-year-old daughter.
In 1983, two 14-year-olds were struck and killed on Red Devil Hill. According to the Revelstoke Review at the time, speeding was one of the contributing factors.
It would be great, said Jakus, if the sidewalk extended from Red Devil Hill to Williamson Lake to make it safer for pedestrians and bikers.
“People ride their bikes. When it’s a hot summer, there would be hundreds of people coming along that shoulder.”
|Jakus is an animal lover. She has two horses and a dog named Thorr. Thorr and Stormy were buds. (Submitted)|
The Revelstoke RCMP said they get a number of speeding complaints within city limits.
CPL. Thomas P. Blakney from Revelstoke RCMP wrote in an email to the Review that it’s hard to determine if speeding violations in Revelstoke are increasing. However, “generally when we have large volumes of traffic, such as a long weekend, we do see an increase in speed.”
Last year, the Revelstoke RCMP charged 16 people with traffic violations within city limits. Blakney wrote the majority of traffic violations are related to speeding.
Dawn Low, spokesperson for the City of Revelstoke, said that area of Airport Road is “on the city’s radar” and they have some ideas on how to potentially calm traffic, but could not go into specifics.
Revelstoke City Council just awarded a $1.3 million contract for road construction, part of which are two bike lanes between Nichol Rd. and Shiell Rd.
Jakus posted to Revelstoke Community Facebook page about Stormy, asking for people to slow down. Not long after, she saw a police car outside her home. It had pulled someone over for speeding. Jakus said the police officer read her post and decided to check out that stretch of Airport Way. He caught a driver going up to 100 km/hr and impounded her car right there said Jakus.
All thanks to Facebook.
“Maybe that was Stormy’s life purpose. To bring awareness to speeding in this area.”
Jakus said it only takes five minutes to get anywhere in Revelstoke.
“If you’re late one minute, explain to your boss that there was a dog or cat. Whatever. Leave earlier. Figure it out. It’s five minutes. Just slow down.”