Mary John presented a petition to get Kitimat Council to extend the Lahakas Boulevard walkway to Quatsino and towards the soccer fields.

Mary John presented a petition to get Kitimat Council to extend the Lahakas Boulevard walkway to Quatsino and towards the soccer fields.

Petition shows support for a new walkway in Kitimat to the soccer fields

Residents say Quatsino Boulevard needs a walkway to address safety concerns along that stretch.

Extend a proposed Quatsino walkway straight to the soccer fields, and while you’re at it spend a bit more money on Kildala neighbourhood paths rather than up-the-hill.

That was a message from Kitimat resident Mary John to town council, as she presented an over 600-signature petition to get a walkway along Quatsino constructed.

The presentation followed a walkway tour John gave to councillors in the area the weekend prior.

She says her concern is truly a safety issue.

“I’m afraid someone’s going to get hurt and then we’ll be going ‘oh, why didn’t we do something?’” she told the Sentinel.

She said her 625-signature petition because a success through little real campaigning by her, proving there’s a big interest in the community as well.

“We really, really want a sidewalk,” she says in reference to the community petition.

Kildala, she says, is an under served neighbourhood as far as walkway access. In connection to the downtown centre, there are only two walkway arteries in to Kildala, one behind the bus depot along the drainage canal and another between townhouses which she said is in ill-repair.

The walkway that runs to Columbia from the Saguney junction, in particular, is in such rough shape she doesn’t walk it at night.

“Please consider [a Quatsino walkway] an urgent matter that should be dealt with immediately,” she asked council.

She encouraged the town to look at building a walkway for the entire stretch to the soccer fields. Existing plans propose a walkway just to Columbia.

The safety angle on having a walkway is a real one, says Sgt. Graham Morgan of the Kitimat RCMP.

He said he’s seen people frequently using the side of the road along Quatsino even in the absence of a real walkway.

He’s not aware of any injuries along that stretch but admits it’s not the safest place.

“I was very surprised there wasn’t one there, even before this came about,” he said.

The trouble is notable in the winter too because the snow forces people on to the road shoulder, in a time of year where there is limited daylight.

Councillors referred the proposal for a Quatsino walkway to their final budget deliberations for the year.