Kamloops commuter and new cyclist bike routes

The purpose of these draft routes is to initiate dialogue within the City about the best routes specifically for bike commuting, with consideration for those new to cycle commuting. Following feedback and modifications, the Kamloops Cycling Coalition would like the City of Kamloops to consider designating these streets as bike routes.

While initially we envision these streets simply being posted as cycling routes (see Note 1 below), in the future we would like the City to consider progressive traffic calming modifications (e.g. 30 km/hr speed limits, speed bumps/humps, raised pedestrian crossings at intersections, traffic diversions, etc.). Traffic calming modifications should not include those that require cyclists to move laterally across a street where they are forced to repeatedly enter and leave the flow of traffic.

Routes are a compromise based on the reality of the topography of Kamloops and existing infrastructure (see Note 2 below). A few sections (e.g. using bridges to cross Highway 1 in Aberdeen) have extensive traffic. However, the routes have been selected to:

  • be accessible within 500m of most homes in Kamloops
  • utilize roads with the least traffic where possible
  • utilize roads with the lowest slope where possible

Routes have been developed for four areas in Kamloops.

  1. Aberdeen/Upper Sahali (Figure 1)
  2. North Shore/Westsyde (Figure 2a/2b)
  3. Downtown & Lower Sahali (Figure 3)
  4. Valleyview (Figure 4)

KML files for each region are available upon request.  Google Maps, despite limitations, was used to generate the routes to allow for easiest access to the datafiles. Files can be opened on any computer with Google Earth installed.

Comments can be found below each map.

Note 1: Some routes may require modification prior to being simply designated as a cycling route. For example, the design of Tranquille with the series of sidewalks extensions into the street is currently dangerous to cyclists because it creates pinch points with high probability of cyclist/vehicle collision.

Note 2: Some recommendations include small sections of public access private property. For example the parking lot and access roads of a condominium north of the cemetery that connect to TRU. This is a challenge for the City to recognize but is the safest route for commuting cyclists.

Aberdeen/Upper Sahali

Figure 1. Draft commuter and new cyclist bike routes in Aberdeen/Upper Sahali. Letters on routes are created by Google Map software and not intended to be of informational value.

Comments: This map differs from the City of Kamloops Transportation Master Plan (bike route maps can be found on pages 21 & 22 in the document in this link). Most notably, the City plan recommends the use of Pacific Way and Highway 5A. Both routes have high slope and have traffic that is normally well in excess of the speed limit. In addition, when it is raining or during periods of snow melt, cyclists would experience a great deal of dirty spray from vehicles and trucks, especially on Highway 5A. 

In order to connect routes to the north side of Highway 1, it was not possible to find an alternative to the bridges on Pacific Way and Copperhead Drive.  This is not ideal for new cyclists.

Slope rising to the south of this map is considerable. Thompson Rivers University (upper centre) is roughly at an elevation of 500m while the most southern portion of these routes (i.e., Abbeyglen Way) is at 890m.  

Compare the City of Kamloops Transportation Master Plan General Bike Routes to the Commuter Routes suggested in this document Bike Route Comparisons.

North Shore/Westsyde

Figure 2a. Draft commuter and new cyclist bike routes on the North Shore. Letters on routes are created by Google Map software and not intended to be of informational value. Thanks to Glen Baber for working on this region.
Figure 2b. Draft commuter and new cyclist bike routes for Westsyde. Letters on routes are created by Google Map software and not intended to be of informational value. A trail is available south of Westsyde Centennial Park that connects with the route shown to the south. Google Maps does not have this trail included as an option. Thanks to Glen Baber for working on this route.

Comments: Access to the business district on the North Shore is currently lacking. In particular, Tranquille between Royal and Vernon has a series of sidewalk extensions that narrow the street creating pinch points for cyclists. Conversations with cyclists frequently reference conflicts with traffic (near misses and arguments) on Tranquille. This could be the most dangerous road in Kamloops for cyclists.

Compare the City of Kamloops Transportation Master Plan General Bike Routes to the Commuter Routes suggested in this document Bike Route Comparisons

Downtown & Lower Sahali

Figure 3. Draft commuter and new cyclist bike routes for Downtown Kamloops and Lower Sahali. Letters on routes are created by Google Map software and not intended to be of informational value.

Comments: The western and southern portions of these routes include streets/trails with high slope. While most of downtown Kamloops has an elevation roughly around 360-370m, Thompson Rivers University has an elevation of roughly 500m and the top of the Xget’tem’ Trail (pronounced ‘hawk tum’) is at 530m.

The routes indicated here include being able to cycle through the TRU East Village from Dalgleish Drive. TRU has recently fenced the border with Dalgleish Drive with a single roadway gate and no pedestrian/cyclist gates.  If the roadway gate is closed there is no safe access to McGill for cyclists without using sidewalks/road shoulder on Summit. This is highly undesirable as it disconnects two significant regions of Kamloops and increases risk when accessing TRU.

Compare the City of Kamloops Transportation Master Plan General Bike Routes to the Commuter Routes suggested in this document Bike Route Comparisons

Valleyview

Figure 4. Draft commuter and new cyclist bike routes for Valleyview. Letters on routes are created by Google Map software and not intended to be of informational value.

Comments: The map only goes as far as ‘The Residence at Orchard’s Walk.’ While there is an unofficial trail leading from Orchard’s Walk to a trailer park about 1 km further east (that currently seems to be partially under construction as a roadway (summer 2021)), there is no further connection to Dallas Drive. A potential biking trail could be constructed through the golf course to avoid the use of the TransCanada Highway where a cyclist was killed in the summer of 2021.

This document was prepared by Rob Higgins on behalf of KALCAT  prior to the merger with the Kamloops Cycling Coalition.

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