Steady progress continues to be made on transportation capital priorities identified by Kelowna residents earlier this year. Here is an update on where we are.
Connector road between Glenmore and Hwy 97/UBCO
The City of Kelowna has a plan to construct a municipal street between Glenmore Road and Highway 97 at Old Vernon Road. The road now appears on the City’s twenty-year Major Road Network Plan.
The Glenmore Road connection to Hwy 97 will be a municipal street benefitting commuters and UBCO students who cycle or drive. Both provincial and federal grants are available to support the City of Kelowna with this important project through infrastructure grant programs.
Intersection at Hwy 97 and Sexsmith
The intersection of Sexsmith / Rutland Road and Highway 97 experiences congestion during peak periods. The Province will consider improvements to this intersection in future based on available funding and assessment of competing transportation capital priorities in the Okanagan Valley.
Strategic transportation plan
Workshops recently took place up and down the valley and included transportation (transit, light rail, cycling) and land use planning experts. Suggestions from the workshops will be used in creating and executing a cohesive transportation plan that spans the whole Okanagan. Follow our progress by visiting my web site at www.normletnickmla.bc.ca.
Sidewalks and cycle paths
The Province has worked in close partnership with the City of Kelowna to deliver pedestrian improvement projects such as improved sidewalks and enhanced transit stops on Harvey Avenue and the Dayton Street overpass.
Cyclists commuting to UBCO will have a safer route, via a new multi-use pathway and bridge, jointly funded by the Province, the City of Kelowna and UBCO. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has adjusted the cycling route along this segment of Highway 97, updated cycling awareness signs and installed a speed reader board on the highway near the overhead. Until construction is complete, cyclists will continue to use the Ellison overhead to reach the campus. A new cyclist-activated warning sign will be installed on the northbound shoulder at the bridge.
MLA Steve Thomson and I approached Minster Bond in 2010 requesting improvements to Highway 33 in the Rutland town centre area to address community concerns over pedestrian safety, transit stop locations and streetscape aesthetics.
Provincial staff are currently working with staff from the City to develop costing and scope of work for realigning crosswalks, raised median enhancements and other transit, pedestrian, and streetscape aesthetics along Highway 33 in Rutland. We are working together to develop a cost sharing arrangement for these works and coordinate delivery of the improvements with those carried out as part of the RapidBus project.
As you can see, we are making steady progress on your transportation capital priorities. Some projects are easier to accomplish in the short term than others. However, with continued hard work and follow through, we will get where we want to go. We are on the right path.
Norm Letnick is MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country. Visit his website at www.normletnickmla.bc.ca