City council questioned its staff this week as to why it is not consulted before new pedestrian crossings and transit shelters are installed.
Mayor Andy Adams wanted to know if council could be afforded the opportunity to provide input as to where new shelters, crosswalk lights, and sidewalks are located.
“When and where does council have an opportunity to provide input to staff, knowing that council gets significant public comment on all of these,” Adams said. “Up to this point, staff makes the recommendation and moves forward with the plan and then advises council of what’s been done.”
City Manager Deborah Sargent said city staff could alter the process.
“We could take it as direction from council from this discussion that the work plan for 2016 be brought forward to council for any potential revisions or clarifications,” Sargent said.
She added that city staff choose the locations for bus shelters and other road improvements based on usage.
“Often, I believe, the operations department is recommending these because of the actual numbers involved, the number of people taking transit, for example,” Sargent said. “Or it could be augmenting another project we’re working on at the same time.
“I think the work plan can be brought forward so that council is aware of those before the actual work is completed.”
Adams question about the inclusion of council was prompted by staff – at this week’s budget planning meetings – bringing forward a list of new bus stop shelters planned for 2016.
Staff have $40,000 worth of new shelters slated for next year but Coun. Ron Kerr was dismayed to see none were proposed for northern Campbell River.
“I’m supportive of the transit shelter program but looking at the map, I’m disappointed none of the shelters planned for this coming year are in neither the Campbellton, Quinsam or north Campbell River areas,” Kerr said. “At the present time, we’ve yet to see any shelters in the before-mentioned areas in spite of the fact there’s a lot of people who use transit and walk from those areas. I think just having one would be a good start.”
Council agreed with Kerr and voted to have staff install a bus shelter in one of those three areas. Coun. Charlie Cornfield, though, thought it was micro-managing and didn’t support the motion.
“I think we’re getting into way too much detail and I think we should leave it up to staff and if concerns are known, we can bring them up to staff at council (meetings) any time.”
Coun. Colleen Evans thought otherwise.
“We’ve invested a lot of infrastructure in northern Campbell River and there’s concern around safety,” she said. “A bus shelter would be a significant improvement.”