Council and Heritage Group take walkway tour

A local community group is keeping the walkways in focus as Kitimat grows.

In a follow-up to a recent council meeting presentation on Kitimat’s walkways, council and the Kitimat Heritage Group donned walking shoes rather than business shoes for a quasi-committee of the whole meeting on June 30.

Quasi in the sense that instead of sitting indoors they toured Kitimat’s sidewalks and walkways both down the hill and up in a review of the current state of the insfrastructure.

Peter Ponter with the Kitimat Heritage Group  said it was a productive tour.

Among their concerns were portions of a walkway near Albatross Street that involves a flight of steps.

“The concern was that anybody on a scooter…they could not realize that situation, so the idea was we suggest they put up some caution signs,” he said.

Among the group’s overall priorities is to make sure walkways aren’t lost in community expansion.

“What we’re concerned about is trying to maintain the current system and also as new developments go in bring them up to a similar standard,” he said.

There’s no existing plans to decommission any walkways at the moment but other plans about maintanence couldn’t be answered during the tour as no representatives of District of Kitimat’s engineering department was on the tour.

That said Ponter is happy with the turnout of the tour, which included all but one councillor, which he sees as indicative of a focus on the group’s goals.

“It was good to see so many councillors,” he said. “We seem to be getting more attention.”

Mayor Joanne Monaghan, who was on part of the tour, said the walkways will continue to be an important part of Kitimat, especially as the community ages.

“As we’re an aging community I think we have to take that [mobility] in to consideration,” she said. “When people can get around on their scooters and things they don’t feel so confined, and I think it’s wonderful and if we can keep that going it’s going to be good.”

She said she appreciates the heritage committee for keeping the sidewalks a priority for Kitimat’s heritage and hopes they continue to do so.