I would like to understand the views of those wanting a Main Street bridge, rather than a five-lane Bruhn Bridge, but I am stumped.
I do not understand why a Main Street bridge over to Old Spallumcheen Road across the channel would be such an attraction that it would draw visitors to the downtown? If you did drive over the proposed Main Street bridge, you would find a narrow, two-lane road with no real shoulder to park on and nothing but residential homes. Is it for Hyde Mountain Golf Course, the only real attraction on that side of the channel? For the few months it is open, does it generate enough traffic to warrant building a Main Street bridge rather than the five-lane Trans Canada Highway structure with access roads allowing for passage to both downtown and the other side of the channel?
What about making downtown a destination for people using the rail trail and build a low-maintenance, covered metal cycling/walking bridge with an eye-catching banner to be seen from the highway and boats? It could be used by those who require the use of scooters.
Why not have cyclists and hikers look to the downtown as a destination to stop while using the rail trail?
Why not use the downtown as a destination by offering racks to park their bikes, benches to rest and an outdoor market with live music to draw those off the rail trail or passing by on either highway? Why not have art shows and BMX biking demos throughout the spring, summer and fall? Surely a pedestrian/cyclist bridge would be far less expensive, safer for everyone’s use and much more enticing to stop and take a look at our downtown.
Currently, there is nothing downtown to draw people in to stay and enjoy, nor is there anything over on the other side of the channel other than the golf course to entice people to come over by car. Even if they did venture over the Main Street Bridge, where are they going to park?
Those of us who live in Sicamous and Mara already go downtown as that is where you get your needs met – groceries, liquor, mail, bottle return, etc. – and it is where those who visit go for the same reasons without a Main Street bridge.
A Main Street bridge for vehicles can always be considered in the future when the opposite side of the channel is developed, but trying to add a fifth lane and access roads on Hwy. 1 at a later date would not be as simple. My best hope for our community is these questions and points I have shared are considered by the mayor and council in their negotiations on behalf of their constituents on both sides of the channel.