Map shows the proposed route and bus stop locations in the Hwy. 16 action plan for Burns Lake. The parent advisory council of William Konkin Elementary School says a bus stop should not be located near the school. 

Map shows the proposed route and bus stop locations in the Hwy. 16 action plan for Burns Lake. The parent advisory council of William Konkin Elementary School says a bus stop should not be located near the school. 

Debate over bus stops continue

WKE's parent advisory council says a bus stop should not be near the school

In a letter to B.C. Transit, the parent advisory council of William Konkin Elementary School (WKE) asked B.C. Transit to reconsider a proposed bus stop location and bus route in Burns Lake.

As part of the Hwy. 16 action plan, a $5-million plan that will have buses connecting the Hwy. 16 corridor between Prince George and Prince Rupert, B.C. Transit proposes a bus stop near WKE.

“It is imperative that our children be safe and protected; we feel that transit buses travelling through residential areas and stopping near the schools put all our children at risk,” says a letter signed by Shannon Adams, chair of WKE’s parent advisory council. “As a result, the WKE parent advisory council is urging you to reconsider the proposed route and eliminate the route traveling through our residential areas and stopping near our school.”

“It is our understanding that although all residents are welcome to utilize the transit system, the main priority is to prevent individuals from hitchhiking,” she continues. “As parents of young children, it does not seem suitable that a stop would be in the general vicinity of an elementary school.”

During a recent board meeting of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, Smithers Mayor Taylor Bachrach said the views expressed in the letter were “concerning.”

“I do find it a little bit concerning the implied understanding that the people who use transit are somehow putting our children at risk,” said Bachrach. “I don’t think there’s any evidence for that; and I would be very concerned if that was the feeling in the community – that the people who are using transit were somehow putting children at risk.”

“If we keep going down that path of thinking these are dangerous people, I think that’s a really unfortunate tone to have around this transit service because what we’re trying to do is provide transportation for everybody to get the services they need.”

Director of Electoral Area E, Eileen Benedict, said the main concern is not about safety, but that having a bus stop near WKE is simply not the best option. She said she’s been hearing lots of comments from community members questioning that chosen location.

“There is not a lot of space there [at WKE],” she said. “When school is in [session], that parking lot is full.”

Burns Lake acting mayor John Illes also said the advice from WKE’s parent advisory council should be taken into account.

“At this point, I think the bus route shouldn’t include the loop through the populated areas,” he said.

Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen said he feels communities weren’t thoroughly consulted by B.C. Transit when it comes to bus stop locations.

“This really shows that there is a need for more interaction between us and B.C. Transit,” he said.

Thiessen said he hopes that once the Hwy. 16 action plan is in place, communities will be able to make changes to bus stop locations as it best suits their needs.

Jonathon Dyck, a spokesperson for B.C. Transit, confirmed that B.C. Transit has received the letter.

“As we do in all cases where we receive concerns or questions form the public, we will follow-up directly and take the feedback into consideration,” he said. “B.C. Transit has developed the proposed Hwy. 16 transit plan based on feedback from our public consultations and with local governments and local First Nations.”

“We appreciate public feedback and are happy to discuss their concerns,” he added. “Many of the stops in Burns Lake are still open for discussion, and the decision of placement will be made at the local level; local governments are currently considering the updated transit proposal, and depending on the direction received will have an implementation plan later this fall.”

During Burns Lake council’s meeting last week, council passed a motion to recommend B.C. Transit not to build a bus stop near WKE.


Just Posted

Lakes District Hospital and Health Centre opened in February 2015. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Lack of maternity program, still a problem in Burns Lake

Community members continue to shuttle to far away locations

The adult Cooper’s Hawk was spotted in Burns Lake last month. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
What to do when you see a bird band or a banded bird?

Here are some answers this Cooper’s Hawk in Burns Lake lead us to

The chamber recently got a picnic bench made and will be adding a few more to the collection for visitors and Burns Lakers to enjoy. (Priyanka Ketkar photo/Lakes District News)
Burns Lake’s community market gets the official farmer’s market status

The Burns Lake and District Chamber of Commerce’s community market is now… Continue reading

DLES' Le Trois Petits Cochons presentation. (Submitted/Lakes District News)
French play at Decker Lake Elementary School

On May 25, Grade 4-5 students of the Decker Lake Elementary School… Continue reading

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers found that 56% of foundations and eye products contain high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Most Read