One petition is easing the headache that accompanies parking at Southside Market on a busy afternoon.
On Oct. 4, the City of Revelstoke announced the implementation of temporary traffic calming measures along Fourth Street East, between Downie Street and Moss Street. The project is the result of a June 2021 petition, calling on the city to address ongoing pedestrian safety concerns on the arterial road.
“The Engineering department anticipates the work to start later this week (tentatively Friday Oct 8, weather permitting). During installation, Fourth Street will be closed with a detour route in-place,” states the Oct. 4 announcement.
— City of Revelstoke (@Revelstoke_BC) October 4, 2021
Stef Kellock-Tickner is the Revelstoke resident behind the pivotal petition. Upon submitting the crucial paperwork, Kellock-Tickner was pessimistic of the outcome. She claims that city hall staff told her they “usually discourage petitions.”
“That was the last thing from the city that anyone said to me,” Kellock-Tickner states, adding that a city councilor personally congratulated her for the initiative later on. Despite receiving over 160 signatures on her petition, the construction announcement was a surprise for the Southside resident.
“Based on what I’ve seen previously, I didn’t expect much,” admits Kellock-Tickner. While she is pleased that the city is taking action, she highlights that these are temporary measures, and Revelstoke’s rapid development “isn’t a temporary situation.”
Road narrowing and new signage among temporary measures
Road narrowing and increased signage are among traffic-calming measures being introduced to 4 St. E. later this week.
According to Steve Black, director of engineering and public works for the City of Revelstoke, temporary bollards are being installed to expand the curbs at the intersections of Moss, Downie and Edward Street along Fourth Street East. These modifications, “take away the parking lane right at the intersection … narrowing the road so people can’t pass turning vehicles” and “shortening the distance pedestrians need to cross,” explains Black.
Additionally, Black says new signage is being installed at the modified crosswalks.
A map detailing the traffic-calming area along 4 St. E.
Pilot program highlights long-term development concerns among residents
Despite the success of her petition, Kellock-Tickner highlights the long-term development concerns that have arisen in Revelstoke.
“It’s fantastic that they acted so quickly on it. However, I think it highlights that there is a huge disconnect between how pressing issues are being managed currently,” she explains, using the metaphor “putting out fires as they come up” to describe city involvement.
“I genuinely wonder about how long it would have taken for them to instigate changes had we not done the petition. At the end of the day, the number of developments and the amount of traffic is still the same. So at what point were they actually going to address this?”
According to Black, the Fourth Street East calming measures are part of a “pilot project” that the engineering department is monitoring over the winter to see if they can “mitigate some of the speeding” before introducing permanent measures.
“We’ll come back to council with a report next year on maybe making it permanent if it meets the needs of the community,” Black explains.
Despite being temporary, Kellock-Tickner hopes this new project will inspire other community members to get involved with local politics.
“This problem, in particular, would clearly just be ignored until someone said, ‘We’re not going to put up with it anymore,'” Kellock-Tickner says. “If you see something that you want to do in the community, you have to speak up and you have to make it happen.”