Bus transportation, as well as other alternative forms of moving people and goods around the Central Okanagan, will be part of a new regional transportation plan.—Image: Capital News file

Work kicks off on first regional transportation plan for Central Okanagan

Municipal councils being asked for input in “visioning workshops”

The first steps have been taken towards a regional transportation plan for the Central Okanagan.

Kelowna city council participated in what was called a “visioning workshop” Monday—a gathering to get input about what council members want to see addressed in the plan.

Similar workshops will be held with municipal councils in Lake Country, West Kelowna and Peachland, as well as with the Westbank First Nation Council. in the coming weeks

Consultant Stephen Power told Kelowna council the plan is more than just a look at the local road network. It will include all forms of transportation, as well as how to people move to and from what he described as “regional” destinations inth area.

But while the plan will look out as far as 2040, at least one councillor said he wants to see it look even farther, so steps are made to prepare for the day when services such as light rapid transit connecting the entire Okanagan Valley arrive.

Charlie Hodge said if that long-range view is not made, and planning starts to facilitate it later, the plan will simply repeat what has been done before.

But Mayor Colin Basran defended the current process.

“We have to crawl before we walk,” said Basran told Hodge, with Coun. Gail Given, who is chairwoman of the Central Okanagan Regional District adding: “And we have to walk before we drive.”

Power said while the plan is confined to the Central Okanagan—in part because of conditions of the gas tax grant that is partially funding it—linkages with Vernon and Penticton can be talked about. They will not, however, be the focus, he said

Preliminary steps have been made for the regional transportation plan including four “pop-up” open houses held last year in Kelowna, Lake Country, West Kelowna and Peachland. A total of about 250 people turned out for the four sessions, said Power and the participants contributed input about what they would like to see in the plan.

Like council, they said some of that included not just roads and the movement of people and goods in automobiles, but alternative forms of transportation such as walking and cycling. Power said some of the issues that wil also need to be looked at closely is the impact of technology on future transportation needs requirements.

The plan’s vision statement says it is an attempt to create a “balanced and resilient transportation plan for the Central Okanagan that moves people and goods in a safe, efficient, accessible and affordable manner, while supporting and enhancing the region’s economy, social network and natural ecosystem.”

The plan is expected to take about 18 months to complete.

Meanwhile, the province has put the study it is conducting on the Highway 97 corridor through the Central Okanagan on hold. That study is looking at, among other things, a second crossing of Okanagan Lake.

A second crossing was not mentioned at he Kelowna council session Monday until near the end, when Coun. Luke Stack raised it as something that should be considered as part of a regional transportation plan.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan Rail Trail to officially open

Thursday, Sept. 27, 11 a.m., Oyama Boat Launch, Wood Lake; public welcome

Chinese author tackles racism and reconciliation

David Wong says cultural diversity should not be feared

Growing Okanagan tech sector hailed in new report

Study shows sector employees 12, 474 workers and is worth $1.67 billion to regional economy

Okanagan Sun tackle Chilliwack Saturday in BCFC action

The Sun will be looking for revenge at home after Corn Huskers beat them 22-18 earlier in season

SilverStar Resort hosts motorcycle weekend

Racers from Canada, the U.S. and Australia expected to compete at Vernon event

VIDEO: Neighbours fear impact of B.C. tent city residents

Greater Victoria residents opposed to campers voice concerns at provincial campground

New evacuations ordered because of Florence flooding

Emergency managers on Friday ordered about 500 people to flee homes along the Lynches River

B.C. doctor weighs in on the kid ‘screen time’ debate

A Maple Ridge mother opens up about her children’s use of tablets, smartphones and television

B.C. councillor’s expenses being sent to the RCMP

Decision to have expenses audited and shared with RCMP taken at special meeting of council

More than 35 B.C. mayors elected without contest

No other candidates for mayor in the upcoming local election in 22 per cent of B.C. cities

Legal society poster seeks complainants against two cops on Downtown Eastside

Pivot Legal Society became aware of allegations made against the officers after a video circulated

Jury to deliberate in case of Calgary man accused of murdering woman

Curtis Healy could be convicted of first-degree murder, second-degree murder or manslaughter

House arrest for man who abused disabled B.C. woman, then blamed her

‘Groomed complainant’ and ‘violated position of trust,’ judge says

Most Read