City of Williams Lake to put a stop to short-cutting through Complex parking lot

Those who like to take the short cut around Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex are going to be out of luck.

Those who like to take the short cut around Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex are going to be out of luck.

Beginning May 11, the fire lane access will be closed to vehicle traffic.

It has been opened and closed over the years, but was never intended to be a road, says the city’s chief administrative officer Brian Carruthers.

“It’s not a road, it’s a parking lot,” Carruthers explained at Tuesday’s council meeting, adding the gate was installed in the past because there were issues with vehicles going back and forth.

The road was never meant to accommodate two-way traffic, he said.

“I’ve come through there walking and have seen two cars coming at once, slamming their brakes, and having to back out.”

Recently the city has received a number of letters complaining about the speed at which vehicles travel through the fire lane and the increased usage.

“We have children and adults using the parking lot on a regular basis. Staff looked at a number of options and at the end of the day felt that the most appropriate solution was to close the fire lane,” he said.

The Cariboo Regional District owns the building and has no problem with the city closing the lane, Carruthers said.

Carruthers did say the lane will remain open during large events.

Coun. Laurie Walters asked if the motion could be taken a step further, insisting when the lane is opened there should be traffic control in place.

“First and foremost safety is an issue,” Walters said.

Coun. Sue Zacharias added: “it is a fire lane, let’s close it. We’ll leave it closed and open it when we have to.”