Central Okanagan Bypass (Clement Ave.)

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The City has recently put two vehicle lanes each way on the Gordon Dr. end of the Central Okanagan Bypass (COB). This is the new road that leads from Gordon to Spall along the CN tracks.

There will eventually be a dedicated bike/pedestrian route along the tracks and separate from the road. In the meantime the roadway between Gordon and High roads is not safe for cycling. To complicate things even further, High road is under construction from Mountain Ave., down to the COB.

The City Engineering Dept. initially advised that they would keep the east bound lane from Gordon to High road as one wide lane so that cyclists would be able to travel along it with traffic. They further advised that they would put signs at the bottom of High road indicating that cyclists should use the sidewalk to get from High Road to Gordon.

Neither of the above have taken place. City Engineering advised that vehicle traffic was building up and they had to complete marking of the two lanes or face backups. They now suggest that cyclists heading to Spall from Gordon Ave., turn east on Wilson, turn north east onto Orchard Drive, ride across the small park at the railroad end of Orchard
and then carry their bikes across the track across the curb and onto the bike lane on the COBP. The bike lane starts at High road, on the COB. Don’t try this route if you have difficulty carrying your bike up a moderate sand bank, across the tracks and down the other side. It is ok for most of us but out of the question for anyone with an e-bike.
Anyone with heavy bikes or e-bikes may wish to consider going to Spall by way of Springfield.

No suggestion was made about travelling from the area of High road to Gordon but here are two options. If you are travelling from the area of Glenmore Rd. and High Rd. and wish to go downtown you can still get through the construction area on High road as far as Mountain Ave. From there travel towards the lake on Mountain and turn left, down Cerise Dr.
to access the controlled crosswalk at the bottom of Cerise. This will allow you to cross the COB, and ride beside Bankhead School onto Wilson Ave. Wilson Ave. meets Gordon at a controlled intersection so it isn’t too bad crossing Gordon and heading downtown through one of the residential streets.

The other route is to also head towards the lake on Mountain from High Rd. Continue on Mountain and left onto Royal View Drive and then left on the short access road that goes across to Knox Mountain road. From here one can get into the North End and into downtown. You have a choice of riding on Royal View Drive or using the gravel path along it on the downhill side.

Note that High Road from Clifton Road down to Mountain is in pretty bad shape right now. The pavement is broken up and there is lots of gravel – be careful.

If you plan to ride from Spall along the COB the bike lane ends at High Road. Your only safe option is to take to the sidewalk. This is illegal but was suggested by the City engineering dept. (I have names if this is ever needed). Safe is better than legal in my opinion.

I haven’t seen any advertising by the City as to cycling routes in this area although there are many signs advising motorists of detours and the like.

Any other ideas for routes in this area would be welcome. The City should be tendering for the construction of the bike/pedestrian path along the tracks soon although I have doubts as to how much of it will be done this year.

John C. Suttie.

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