Kelowna Transit. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Transportation survey results ‘disappointing’: Kelowna Mayor

‘We aren’t going to be able to convince or bring everyone along for the ride,’ said Mayor Colin Basran

If the city were to base its transportation master plan on the results of a recent survey it would be “taking a step backwards,” according to Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran.

The Transportation Citizen Survey, which garnered responses from 300 Kelowna residents, show a vast majority of residents support alternative forms of transportation, however many respondents still want to the city to build more roads, an opinion that doesn’t necessarily improve the flow of traffic.

The results showed strong support for the city’s direction towards increasing transportation options and reducing dependence on private vehicles. Seventy-five per cent of residents said that investing in walking, biking, transit, and other sustainable modes would be a good or very good idea.

However, not everybody was on board.

Council specifically took issue with the 51 per cent of respondents who said building more roads is a long-term solution for the city’s traffic congestion.

“Building roads doesn’t reduce congestion,” said Coun. Gail Given. “Rather, it adds to congestion.”

Despite his comments, the survey showed 61 per cent of people believe cars and trucks passing through Kelowna have a significant impact on traffic congestion, while a report that went to council just a few months ago showed that just 13 per cent of traffic coming into the city are destined for elsewhere.

As a result, the city plans to focus its attention on educating the public about transporation, with staff noting significant differences between the answers of those surveyed and statistics on road use.

While acknowledging that educating the public is vital moving forward, Basran admitted there will never be a consensus on topics like this.

“We aren’t going to be able to convince or bring everyone along for the ride,” he said. “It’s going to take some political courage to make some decisions or investments in areas where maybe people don’t believe it should be. We know for a number of different reasons — financially and environmentally — it’s the right thing to do.”

Basran also challenged the survey’s phrasing, specifically the part which asked if the city’s investment into sustainable transportation is a good thing.

“Of course everyone thinks it’s a good idea,” he said. “I bet you if you worded that question a little differently and said, ‘would you be willing to pay more in taxes to invest in (sustainable transportation)?’ the answer would be a lot different.”

READ MORE: City of Kelowna to spend over $1 million upgrading streetlights to LED

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Uptown Theatre demolished


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of Kelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Kelowna mayor outlines city’s economic, public health response amid COVID-19

The city announced a hold on hiring; 90 positions remain vacant and 64 have been laid off

New Kelowna business committed to growing B.C. beverage industry

Liquid Kudos connects BC beverage producers with new markets

Vernon, Kelowna denturists hit hard amid COVID-19

Okanagan denture clinics wonders if they’ll ever be able sustain the sting of pandemic

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission becomes a 56-bed shelter amid COVID-19 complications

Kelowna’s Gospel Mission outreach team will provide meals to those in need in the community

Kelowna production company keeps filming through COVID-19 pandemic

DCD Productions uses drones so crew can keep their physical distance

B.C. records first at-home death from COVID-19, but 70+ hospital patients have recovered

Total of 970 novel coronavirus cases in B.C., with the majority in the Lower Mainland area

BC Ferries able to restrict travel for sick passengers

Ferries working on schedule shifts to keep workers safe

Virtual physio connects patients with Okanagan practitioners

Many local physiotherapists are ready to assist, online

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

Pay parking suspended at B.C. hospitals due to COVID-19

Temporary free parking reduces need for keypads, contact

Helping those at risk, one piece of paper at a time through ‘isolation communication’

Simple paper tool during pandemic making its way across Canada thanks to social media.

‘Back to school, in a virtual way’ for B.C. students in COVID-19 pandemic

Province adds online resources to help parents at home

Don’t take hair into your own hands, urge Okanagan stylists

New Vernon shop expects high demand come May, since opening delayed

Most Read