Prince Rupert residents wanting to walk along the road adjoining the ocean past Rotary Waterfront Park will notice new barriers and signs alerting them that they would be trespassing should they do so.
The barricades and signs were put up yesterday, and CN regional manager of public affairs Emily Hamer says it is due to safety concerns with the public on the railway’s property.
“As part of our commitment to safety, CN is prohibiting access to CN land from 11th Street, Graham Avenue and Bill Murray Way. Over the next few weeks we will be erecting private property signs and indicating that there is no trespassing,” she said, noting it would be a gradual transition but that there may be penalties involved in the future.
“CN police will be on site to monitor the site, educate people and ensure public safety. CN police will be giving warnings to residents, and under the Railway Safety Act people could be ticketed and fined.”
Acting mayor Anna Ashley says that the City expected something to be done to restrict access given construction planned in the area, and says she hopes to be able to provide residents with a bit more of an update when council meets on October 9.
“There is not much we can do about it because where they put up the barriers is private property. What we want to do is speak with CN and the Port Authority and see what the intention is,” she said, adding that CN could have put up fencing instead of the barriers.
“We want to work with them to provide as much public access as possible…Hopefully we will come up with something that works for everyone.”
According to Prince Rupert Port Authority spokesperson Michael Gurney, the barriers and restricted access to the area is entirely up to CN as it is their property.
Look for more on this story as it becomes available and in the October 10 issue of the Prince Rupert Northern View.