Get transit back on track

I am a former resident of Vernon and make a few trips up each year via the connector bus, mainly to shop and do business downtown.

In the interest of sustainability, public transit is my preferred method of transportation and has been for more than a decade.

I had not been over to the Village Green Centre for quite some time but decided a couple of weeks ago to go and see the new Canadian Tire.

It was a lovely, sunny day but windy and a tad slippery with lots of snow lingering about, narrowing the sidewalks.

I was very surprised, and not at all pleasantly, when I discovered the bus now leaves passengers off at the street by the railroad tracks and no longer leaves them right at the mall steps.

When I lived in Vernon, the city was conducting surveys of citizens and making such noise about becoming an age-friendly city per the World Health Organization's ideas.

Stores rearranged their layouts and widened their aisles so walkers and wheelchairs could have room to move about. The city repaired a few difficult sidewalk corners so those on scooters and wheelchairs would not have accidents. The outdoor exercise equipment went into that area at Polson Park.

Now it seems those with mobility issues or assisted living devices, such as walkers, are expected to make their way across the mall parking lot to shop. That's not easy to do while watching one's feet on ice or being wary of cars.

I'm not sure this change follows the city's usually citizen-friendly efforts.

Vernon has a very high proportion of seniors, but not only seniors have difficulty walking. There are young people in wheelchairs too, and what about those whose vision is impaired?

If there were concerns about stopping by the food court, could the two buses that go by there not pull in parallel to the rail tracks in a dedicated lane near the back steps and then drive out as other vehicles do?

That would certainly cut the number of steps for anyone with vision or mobility issues as well as cut the danger crossing the parking lot. In all of my years of frequenting that mall, waiting for a bus, I saw very few, if any, delivery vehicles use that side lane by the tracks.

Most were pulled up over at the end by the Hudson Bay. Just a thought.

I am hoping the powers that be work with transit, the provincial government and who ever is else necessary to rethink and redo this very unhelpful change.

Jessie Crawford Brown


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