Ministry of Transportation holds open house on proposed highway bypass around Quesnel

Quesnel Downtown Association: bypass is ‘best possible design to accommodate downtown core’

Quesnel Downtown Association president Mitch Vik. File photo

The tremendous snow storm that hammered Quesnel on Feb. 7 definitely threw a wet blanket on the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) open house at the Quesnel & District Seniors’ Centre.

The roads were treacherous as snow removal equipment couldn’t keep up with Old Man Winter.

Sidewalks were also dicey. Parking lots had close a foot-and-a-half of snow on them.

All of this and warnings about not going out resulted in about 50 people showing up for the one-on-one meeting with MOTI representatives.

Fortunately, MOTI reps had meetings with various community leaders earlier in the day before the snow storm really got going.

The executive and directors of the Quesnel Downtown Association (QDA) were among those who heard the MOTI presentation on the Highway 97 Safety Improvement in the City of Quesnel project.

QDA president Mitch Vik was very impressed with what he saw and heard.

“In the terms of the QDA’s position, we support this project wholeheartedly. We feel times are certainly different than they were a generation ago [when there was significant opposition] to a bypass.

“This interconnector is a great solution. It keeps the downtown core very close by and there’s excellent access from the north and south to downtown.

“We feel this was the best possible design to accommodate in the downtown core.”

Vik says the interconnector, which will flow by the city, will stop the transport trucks from going through the city core and that will provide safety and better air quality.

“We have to move forward in some [significant way] and this plan does that. Yes, we’re totally on board.”

When Front Street is devolved from Ministry of Transportation, Vik notes it will become a municipal responsibility.

“By us inheriting Front Street, it will give the City so much more autonomy in the design of that road, traffic flow and projects that may end up on that road,” he adds.

“There’s talk about waterfront development in the future and talk about giving restaurants more [viewscape] on Front Street if this was to happen.

“It would be a game changer for a pedestrian-friendly area, which is, frankly, why a lot of downtown cores that want to survive are embracing those concepts.”

The QDA president says you can’t always think about the cars first. People want to have an experience when they come downtown, and this will help with that.

“The QDA will be supporting this with a letter-writing campaign, or whatever is required of us.”

Vik says the QDA executive had a quick huddle after the MOTI presentation and the consensus was that this is good for the community.

“It’s good for downtown Quesnel and it’s a vehicle to move our community forward again, and keep it moving forward.

“We need this new infrastructure; we needed a new rink and we got that; we need a new arts centre and that’s in process.

“This continues that investment in Quesnel and we need it and we support it.

“We are not going to be standing in its way.”

Vik encourages all residents who were not able to attend the open house to go online at www.gov.bc.ca/quesneltransportationstudy and look at the options and provide their feedback by the Feb. 21, 2018 deadline.

Just Posted

Fatal collision claims life of community leader

On Friday, May 18, a three-vehicle collision, just eight kilometres east of… Continue reading

Body found in Vanderhoof motel

Police currently investigating suspicious death

High water levels continue to be monitored by community

Potential flooding still cause for concern

Poll shows a divided B.C. one year after historic election

British Columbia residents have mixed opinion on government

Nechako Community Arts Council gives local artists a platform

Showcasing local art is key to reinforcing culture, says NCAC

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

B.C. dad pens letter urging overhaul of youth health laws after son’s fatal overdose

The Infants Act currently states children under 19 years old may consent to medical treatment on own

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

VIDEO: Campers leave big mess at rural Vancouver Island campsite

Vehicle parts, garbage, a mattress, lawn chairs, beer cans, and even fecal matter left in the area

VIDEO: B.C. woman gets up-close view of Royal wedding

Kelly Samra won a trip back to her home country to see Prince Harry and Meghan Markle say ‘I do’

30 C in B.C., 30 cm of snow expected for eastern Canada

It might be hot in B.C., but the rest of Canada still dealing with cold

Horgan defends fight to both retain and restrict Alberta oil imports

Alberta says pipeline bottlenecks are kneecapping the industry, costing millions of dollars a day

Most Read