The Columbia-Washington infrastructure renewal is on the minds of many people, after two recent meetings. The first meeting for businesses back on Nov. 8 and the second for the public this past Monday.
At Monday’s meeting there was some concern that the proposed sidewalk bump outs, the peninsula like extensions at the main intertsections, will make things less safe. A person at the edge of a bump out is much closer to traffic than one who is on the current sidewalk.
While the current configuration does give the illusion of a wide field of view and a safer place for both pedestrians and drivers it is just that, an illusion.
The current set-up promotes a driver’s carelessness that can be witnessed at much of the day. U-turns in the middle of intersections and other maneuvers on the wide expanse of street are a daily occurrence.
While a city can get used to this type of activity, it can only lead to eventual tragedy. With vehicles rushing through town while others try to park, back up or turn around into traffic, while pedestrians cross at leisure, something’s bound to happen.
The prospect of traffic slowing and sight enhancing bump outs and the addition of two more official crosswalks can only help make Rossland’s main street a more inviting and safer place.
What the concerns really come down to is a fear of change and a fear of the unknown. While Rossland may have the widest streets in all of Canada (maybe, at some point), there comes a time when the safety of those trying to get across the street outweighs the need to have the wild open west of main streets that it has now.