The jaywalking across Summit discussion is ridiculous. Just stop it from happening already!
Mike Davies, Editor-in-Chief Ω
So the “jaywalking to TRU” discussion reared its ugly head again, as the RCMP have taken to camping out at the popular spots around campus, waiting to ticket those poor students who have decided that being able to leave ten minutes later for class is worth the risk of a fine – or worse.
This is not a new discussion.
As Jessica Klymchuk found this week, the discussion surrounding a pedestrian overpass from the Upper College Heights area over Summit Drive has been going on for years.
Kamloops City Councillor Arjun Singh has been engaged in the discussion for quite some time, and found 140 characters was not enough to engage on a deep enough level with interested parties on Twitter, so he opened up a blog post to have a discussion in August of 2012.
I commented on it at the time, and I stand by what I said.
I pointed out that there is more than one place along that stretch where it is popular to jaywalk (as you can tell by the two separate signs on the median telling you it’s illegal) and putting a pedestrian overpass at just one will not solve the problem at the other, because whichever one it’s at, the people frequenting the other spot won’t be walking to it.
The other issue is that if people are too lazy to walk the hundred (or so) meters to the crosswalk, are they seriously going to take a set of stairs to go over the road?
No. They won’t.
So you’ll end up having to put up a fence along the median anyway. Why not just do that in the first place?
My suggestion was, and still is, that we (the city and the university in a cooperative effort, possibly in conjunction with a provincial or federal arts grant, TRUSU and maybe some sustainability funding) commission an art piece to stretch down that median.
It could go something like this:
“Proposals are now being accepted for one piece of public art, to be located on Summit Drive in Kamloops, B.C.
“The successful proposal will be a minimum of three meters in height, less than two feet in depth, and run for approximately 200 meters down the centre of a busy stretch of divided roadway.
“It will reflect the diversity of the local culture and depict the history of the region, celebrating all that is good about British Columbia’s interior.”
I’m betting we get a ton of responses from sculptors interested in taking this on, and that it will cost far less than the current $5.5 million price tag for the overpass being proposed, which, as I said, will still require some fencing of some kind to get people to actually use.
I also said, truthfully, that I have used those jaywalking spots many times in the past. I’ve lived on Dalgleish Drive for a combined seven years, give or take, and have been part of the TRU community for much of that time.
The reason I took the clearly illegal shortcut was so that I had those extra ten minutes to waste on nothing of value.
In fact, I would venture to say that if I got off my ass ten minutes earlier to go to class, I would probably have been more productive in my studies. Procrastination spreads through a person’s scheduling like a brushfire. My desire to save those ten minutes every day definitely didn’t encourage me to do anything useful with that extra time, and it certainly didn’t encourage diligence in scheduling for anything else, either.
Oh, and according to an article by Mel Rothenburger (who used to be mayor, by the way), a traffic advisory committee recommended a fence be built at this location to curb this problem in 1993.
Yes. This has been a problem since 1993. Some of you weren’t even alive in 1993.
“There will always be idiots, so build us a crosswalk,” said Luke Marchal, who received a warning for jaywalking recently, and has proclaimed he’ll be right back at it.
No, I don’t think we should provide self-proclaimed “idiots” with an easy way to cross Summit Drive on foot. We already did that. It’s the crosswalk up at McGill.
What we need to do is stop idiots from being lazy, and force them to walk to it.