Planning bike routes

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Last Thursday, 15th of November, Mike Kittmer, the active Transportation Coordinator for the City of Kelowna met with Grant Rice, Don Knox and I to discuss a number of cycling initiatives.

The Kelowna cycling Coalition (KCC) is asking that signs be posted on cycling routes to enable cyclists to find and use routes to different parts of the city.  We would also like to have the signs reflect the difficulty of a  particular route (generally reflecting the amount of interaction with motor vehicle traffic).

In our view we would like to identify several types of cycling routes:

1) primary commuter routes between different business/residential/recreation centres throughout the city.

2)secondary commuter routes – designed to decrease interaction with motor vehicles and may not be as direct as the primary routes.

3) major recreational routes – longer circuits involving some interaction with motor vehicles.

4) secondary recreational routes – oriented specifically as safe enjoyable routes for use by inexperienced riders but useful for all levels of rider.

The KCC is also asking the city to consider a “green streets” initiative similar to Vancouver and Portland’s program.  This may be best used in the area between the north end of the downtown to Kelowna Secondary School.  These areas are built up and it is difficult and very expensive to add cycling/pedestrian facilities.  A green streets initiative would involve choosing a few east/west and north/south streets as cycling/pedestrian  corridors.  These streets would be traffic calmed with traffic circles, speed bumps and the like and efforts would be made to have vehicle traffic slowed and reduced.  Traffic signals would be designed for easy and safe access by cyclists (something that has not been done in Kelowna).

See this video for an idea of how the green streets work:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NM60DqAM6bQ

There is a lot of work to be done on this project and we are at early stages.  I would emphasize that the city has not accepted the green streets proposal and that we are asking them to give it consideration.  If you have an opinion on this please let me know or better yet contact Mike Kittmer at City Hall.

John  (jsuttie(at)silk.net)

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