Robert Rd.

by

I spoke to Aidan Kiernan, Assoc. Vice President of Operations at UBCO on the 3rd of December. He informed me that UBCO had recently entered into a written agreement with the Glenmore Ellison Irrigation district allowing access across the irrigation right of way for those going back and forth to UBCO via Robert Rd. The crossing agreement covers the area where the the edge of the parking lot meets the path going down to the north end of Robert Rd. This allows cyclists and pedestrians to legally cross the irrigation right of way when using Robert Rd. to access the campus.

It is good to see that UBCO is working towards better access for cyclists and pedestrians. They are restricted in their ability to spend funds for paths and routes on properties not their own.

In my opinion the next steps with regards to Robert Rd. are to have the private property signs removed and provide regular maintenance and snow removal.

I do have sympathy for the owners of the private road. The road is not public and they are responsible for maintenance. I would like to see a negotiated agreement with the City of Kelowna towards making this route a decent well maintained route for cyclists and pedestrians. One idea that may satisfy most parties:

– provide a remote controlled gate for vehicle access (at the south end) and a small turnstile or angled opening that would prevent vehicle entry yet allow bikes and pedestrians. In return for this an agreement that maintenance would be provided and that the road surface would be improved.

It seems to me that with a bit of desire and creativity, there are solutions that would make this route very acceptable for all parties involved. I believe that this should be lead by the City of Kelowna in partnership with UBCO.

It is my understanding that quite a few years ago, the City attempted to come to an agreement with the residents but the negotiations eventually stalled. I think it is time they tried again. The situation has changed in that quite a few people use the road to access the campus and UBCO, being one of the property owners, has rights to use the route.

So far the City has indicated no desire to be involved in this route, being quite content to make promises of other access points sometime in the future.

John.

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