The city plans to close a gravel road that links Grandview Heights with Emerald Green. Image: CastleMap

The city plans to close a gravel road that links Grandview Heights with Emerald Green. Image: CastleMap

LETTERS: Disagreements with Grandview and 16th Avenue decision

Castlegar residents Mac and Kathy Gregory and Robert Dickson air disagreement with city decision

The city raises a number of issues regarding 16th Avenue and the effects of it remaining open. Yes, there will be some effects on the 37th Street and Highway 22 intersection and eventually costs may occur there. There is a simple cost-effective solution, but waiting for the Emerald Green development is not it.

In the future the access to Highway 22 at 37th Street may need further investment and perhaps even a light. Part of the increased traffic at the 37th and highway 22 intersection is due to the one way in only on 34th to the 8th Avenue. The Twin Rivers housing development, where Phase 2 is under way has added traffic to Highway 22, as will we if a gate goes up. The speed limits on either side of 37th from 60-70 km/hr on the north and 70-80 km/hr on the south have also added difficulty to accessing the highway. At some point in time the city will have to find a solution.

Supplying emergency services with a key to access the gate when installed on 16th is not a wise decision. As a retired first responder with the Castlegar Fire Department I am well aware that delays of seconds or minutes can mean the difference between life or death or the loss of a home. A key could be dropped and lost while rushing to open the gate and it is 3.4 km longer to take the Trowlex route.

There is a low-cost answer. I grew up driving on gravel roads and my neighbour was a grader operator for the department of highways. While watching and talking with him I saw that he always cut the surface to below the potholes pushing the soil to the side. Then he brought the soil back onto the road surface spreading it evenly. This left the surface in good shape for a long time. Some loads of crush would fix the area near the culvert where there is little surface soil. Effective grading, I believe, would solve the problem until the Emerald Green development goes ahead. Spending tax money for grading two or three times per year to maintain this section does not seem unreasonable.

There are now about 65 new homes with 12 additional homes nearing completion or starting with all lots sold in Grandview. The city is and will generate a large amount of tax dollars from these homes priced in the $500,000 to $800,000 range. The city will reap the taxes while we get a 3.4 km. longer drive. I urge you to reconsider your budget decision. Place the maintenance of this gravel section of 16th in your regular road maintenance budget and forget about fencing us in.

Mac and Kathy Gregory

Castlegar, BC

RELATED: City of Castlegar to close road between Grandview and Emerald Green neighbourhoods

Regarding the article in paper, City of Castlegar Council putting gate on 16th Ave: This is very short sighted on their part. They say emergency vehicles will have a key? Maybe fire department, ambulances are rotated, same police cars, probably no key. The major point is if there is a forest fire like last summer, all of Emerald Green, Southridge, trying to get out via 37th Street, or same all of Grandview trying to exit by Minto Road. This road was used by school buses, till it was let go, also fire department, ambulance, police, snow plows, garbage trucks, couriers, and on and on. If there was a proper road the regional bus service could then leave Southridge, and carry on to Grandview (no bus service in 12yrs). Their comment that the road is used too much speaks in itself that it is needed. There has always been money at the drop of a hat for new city hall, new fire hall, $5 million water and sewer across the river, lots of statues, flowers — I’m sure if the will was there, they could build the road.

Robert Dickson

Castlegar, BC

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter