Ministry of Transportation holds open house on proposed highway bypass around Quesnel

Quesnel Downtown Association: bypass is ‘best possible design to accommodate downtown core’

Quesnel Downtown Association president Mitch Vik. File photo

The tremendous snow storm that hammered Quesnel on Feb. 7 definitely threw a wet blanket on the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) open house at the Quesnel & District Seniors’ Centre.

The roads were treacherous as snow removal equipment couldn’t keep up with Old Man Winter.

Sidewalks were also dicey. Parking lots had close a foot-and-a-half of snow on them.

All of this and warnings about not going out resulted in about 50 people showing up for the one-on-one meeting with MOTI representatives.

Fortunately, MOTI reps had meetings with various community leaders earlier in the day before the snow storm really got going.

The executive and directors of the Quesnel Downtown Association (QDA) were among those who heard the MOTI presentation on the Highway 97 Safety Improvement in the City of Quesnel project.

QDA president Mitch Vik was very impressed with what he saw and heard.

“In the terms of the QDA’s position, we support this project wholeheartedly. We feel times are certainly different than they were a generation ago [when there was significant opposition] to a bypass.

“This interconnector is a great solution. It keeps the downtown core very close by and there’s excellent access from the north and south to downtown.

“We feel this was the best possible design to accommodate in the downtown core.”

Vik says the interconnector, which will flow by the city, will stop the transport trucks from going through the city core and that will provide safety and better air quality.

“We have to move forward in some [significant way] and this plan does that. Yes, we’re totally on board.”

When Front Street is devolved from Ministry of Transportation, Vik notes it will become a municipal responsibility.

“By us inheriting Front Street, it will give the City so much more autonomy in the design of that road, traffic flow and projects that may end up on that road,” he adds.

“There’s talk about waterfront development in the future and talk about giving restaurants more [viewscape] on Front Street if this was to happen.

“It would be a game changer for a pedestrian-friendly area, which is, frankly, why a lot of downtown cores that want to survive are embracing those concepts.”

The QDA president says you can’t always think about the cars first. People want to have an experience when they come downtown, and this will help with that.

“The QDA will be supporting this with a letter-writing campaign, or whatever is required of us.”

Vik says the QDA executive had a quick huddle after the MOTI presentation and the consensus was that this is good for the community.

“It’s good for downtown Quesnel and it’s a vehicle to move our community forward again, and keep it moving forward.

“We need this new infrastructure; we needed a new rink and we got that; we need a new arts centre and that’s in process.

“This continues that investment in Quesnel and we need it and we support it.

“We are not going to be standing in its way.”

Vik encourages all residents who were not able to attend the open house to go online at www.gov.bc.ca/quesneltransportationstudy and look at the options and provide their feedback by the Feb. 21, 2018 deadline.

Just Posted

Principal Mikel Brogan is leaving Forest Grove Elementary School

“All my time in the South Cariboo area has been amazing”

Citizen of the Year nominees announced

A grand total of 11 nominations this year for Citizen of the Year

Valentines Day brilliance

A weekly family column for the 100 Mile Free Press

Greyhound cleared to end routes in northern B.C., Vancouver Island

Company says nine routes have dropped 30% in ridership in last five years

Several CRD directors will seek re-election

The CRD will prepare an election package for people interested in running for the board

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Northern B.C. short 121 registered nurses: report

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

WATCH: Vancouver Island family builds eight-foot igloo in their yard

Sunday snowfall on the mid-Island leads to all-day family activity

Three new judges appointed to B.C. Supreme Court

Two spots filled in Vancouver, one in New Westminster

BCHL Today: Merritt’s Buckley nets scholarship and Vees slam Salmon Arm

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Trial date delayed in case of slain Victoria sisters

Andrew Berry’s next court appearance will be in three weeks to set a date for trial to begin

B.C. MP invites convicted terrorist to Trudeau reception in India

Jaspal Atwal was convicted of trying to assassinate an Indian cabinet minister

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Women’s ice hockey team loses first Olympic game in 20 years

Team Canada added two silvers and a bronze to their total

Most Read