Vernon Secondary School graduates got to spray paint Suicide Hill after COVID-19 cancelled their events and now Clarence Fulton Secondary School is looking to do the same, only closer to home.
A letter from a parent and Clarence Fulton Secondary School grad committee member is asking Vernon city council if they will consider closing portions of Fulton Road so the 96 grads can make their mark.
The portion of 30th Avenue, locally known as Suicide Hill, was closed to vehicle traffic following the Vernon Secondary School’s grad event that took place Wednesday, June 17.
City council voted June 8 to keep the road closed until the paint is removed or by Sept. 4, 2020, at the latest, reviving the tradition that was halted in 1981.
The Fulton grad committee proposed the ‘Tag the road’ event take place Okanagan Avenue and Teal Drive, plus the city-owned parking lot. Their section option was a further down the road toward Okanagan Landing Road.
“Both Option 1 and 2, if blocked in the areas identified, would not prevent residents from being blocked from their homes as their is access from either Okanagan Landing Road or Okanagan Avenue,” Janet Barrett wrote to council.
City staff said the situations are different due to the locations and traffic volumes.
Instead, staff are recommending council tell the grad committee to investigate painting the parking lots of Ellison and Fulton Schools instead of closing the road.
“The road closure of ‘Suicide Hill’ was to provide VSS the opportunity to recreate a historical event of painting the hill by VSS grads, to ensure the safety of motorists travelling the roadway and to leave the proposed grad artwork for a period of time in which the students and public could enjoy the artwork,” the report to council reads.
But if portions of Fulton Road were painted, it would have to be removed immediately before the road could once again be utilized by motorists.
“Closure of any time period longer than a day would impact residents in the neighbourhood,” the report reads.
City staff recommends council does not support the closure of the road during its meeting June 22, but instead suggests the grad committee seek permission through the school district to paint the parking lots.