Pilot project in Kamloops retrofits cattle guards, making them safer for crossing cyclists

Cattle guards made safer

A number of cattle guards in the Kamloops area are being retrofitted to make them safer for cyclists — the result of a pilot project aiming to make active transportation a more attractive option.

In a statement, B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said it launched the project in response to a request from Kamloops' Interior Grasslands Cycling Club.

“[The project] is an excellent example of ministry staff working with the community to create a unique solution that ultimately helps more people feel safe and confident while riding their bikes,” the ministry statement said.

According to the ministry, the club approached the government in 2019, requesting they look into using running strips on cattle guards, making it easier and safer to for bikes to cross the horizontal metal bars.

The ministry said the pilot project was launched on Westsyde Road, north of Kamloops, and three cattle guards were retrofitted with running strips 100 millimetres wide.

The project expanded to three cattle guards along East Shuswap Road in Kamloops, where 150 millimetre wide running strips were installed.

Mike Stewart-Smith, director of the Interior Grasslands Cycling Club, said in a statement the strips are engineered so they are easy to ride across without the fear of falling.

“These cycling strips along Westsyde Road and East Shuswap Road have made a tremendous improvement to long distance cycling by creating a safer and more enjoyable outing for everyone, of all abilities,” Stewart-Smith said.

Seven more cattle guards along East Shuswap Road are scheduled for modification by the end of June, according to the ministry.

“Considered a connector route for walking and cycling, this road provides an ideal location to explore the benefits of cyclist safety of retrofitting cattle guards on a larger scale,” the ministry statement said.

The ministry said the work will result in a circular route 40 kilometres long, running along East Shuswap and other side roads, that is safer for cyclists.

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