No winter walkway but Kitimat council still plans to discuss Kildala sidewalk system in future

A proposal to create a temporary winter walkway in the Kildala area came with a number of challenges, said Kitimat staff.

Kitimat Council hasn’t turned away from ambitions to improve the walkway system in the Kildala neighbourhood, but that’s a sometime-later project.

Councillors debated a winter-fix for the walkway gap that exists between Columbia Avenue and Lahakas Boulevard when Larry Walker suggested using snow clearing equipment to create what he called a ‘band aid’ solution of a snow path along that stretch.

It ultimately would not come to pass.

The discussion comes in response to a resident petition to create a permanent walkway system in that area that was delivered last year.

“As a band aid solution it is my recommendation that we create a pathway, not a sidewalk,” he said, using a snow grader to push back snow from the road so people don’t have to walk on the roadway itself.

Walker’s plan, according to District of Kitimat staff, would prove more challenging than initially thought.

Chief Administrative Officer Warren Waycheshen said issues such as uneven ground and structures such as the bus stop outside the 486 Quatsino townhouse complex make such plans laborious if put in practice. While other northern climates might have made a winter path easier to manage, it’s too wet and warm to create a sustainable walking path using equipment without rutting the ground.

Mario Feldhoff agreed with the staff’s concerns and said people in Kildala can use internal sidewalks to reach downtown.

But that said he does support a discussion down the line about permanent walkway solutions.

“There is no doubt in my mind that we do need to follow up on the whole Kildala sidewalk issue but this particular motion to clear the snow as a band aid solution is not appropriate for the winter.”

Walker closed the debate by saying he still doesn’t want to see any injuries along the road there as a result of council inaction and even wondered if not providing a walkway system, whether temporary or not, creates liabilities for the District.

Walker’s arguments didn’t sway the other councillors however and his motion was defeated.