Money for Bike Lanes

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The City of Kelowna has provided a list of $70.7 million of potential infrastructure projects to both the federal and provincial governments should funds become available to help stimulate the economy.

“It is important to let our senior partners know we have projects that can be built this year to help stimulate our local economy and benefit the community in the long-term,” says Mayor Sharon Shepherd.

The City’s funding requests, in order of priority, include $8.8 million to construct multi-use pathways, including Lakeshore Road (Gyro Park to Mission Creek), Cawston Avenue (Rails with Trails to downtown) and Houghton Road (Rutland Road North to Highway 97); $3.4 million to upgrade the heritage Laurel Packinghouse; $11 million to build the Glenmore Road Bypass; $24 million to four-lane Highway 33 between Muir and Gallagher Road; $12.5 million to construct a four-lane bridge over Mission Creek on Gordon Drive and $11 million to bring sanitary sewer to Hall Road.

The City’s first priority for multi-use pathways supports a number of shared goals between the three levels of government. The off-road asphalt pathways promote alternative transportation, tourism, active living, and safety while helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Glenmore Bypass will occur in 2009 regardless of additional funding,” says Shepherd. “Additional funding would allow the City to reallocate funding currently earmarked for the Glenmore Bypass for other projects.”

There is currently no formal application process in place. However, the City is anticipating that any approved projects would be cost shared equally between all three levels of government. The above priorities are subject to change if senior government grants with specific criteria become available.

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One Response to “Money for Bike Lanes”

  1. Al Switzer Says:

    These multi-use pathways are not always the answer. Peachland is about to extend the pathway, started in the business area 2 years ago, another 1.2 km along the busiest section of Beach Avenue, between the Swim Bay boat launch and the Bliss Bakery intersection at 13th Street. The problem is the pathway is not for cyclists – we are to use the roadway. That’s preferred over a pathway used by rollerbladers, skateboarders, dog walkers with those springy leashes and any other non-motorized users of Beach Avenue except the road has been narrowed to accommodate a 3 m wide pathway, a 2 m wide boulevard and parking on both sides of the street. In addition, Urban Systems, the engineering design firm, has put in these “traffic calming” flares at all intersections along the route. These further pinch the width of the road. As a result of all this, cyclists are forced in the middle of the traffic lanes. Check out the details on the Peachland website. Look for the link to the “Beach Avenue Walkway” and follow to the “panels” that were presented at the Open House, specifically the 4th panel. It is a cross section of the roadway and shows a cyclist smack dab in the middle of the lane in front of a pickup truck! We have no where to go to get out of the way of the traffic. We all know what that driver behind is wanting to do – beware the annoyed driver!

    Whereas other cities are painting dedicated bikes lanes on the road thereby providing some separation of bicycles and vehicles. Peachland is doing the exact opposite and redesigning a perfectly good, bike-friendly route and creating the very situation that other, progressive cities are in the process of undoing!

    These M/U pathways are for transportation alternatives. An example is where an expressway is the only means of travel between A and B. A M/U pathway between A and B would allow alternate means of travel. This is not the situation in Peachland. Beach Avenue is not a commuter route – it is used for recreation. We do not need a M/U pathway to encourage non-motorized use of this 1.2 km.

    I have written several emails, with linked webiste references to other cities’ bike-friendly plans, to the mayor and am afraid this project is a “done deal”. If any of you cyclists read this, please write an email to the mayor and council of Peachland. Their email addreses are on the website under the “Council” link.

    There was no cycling input to the Urban Systems design team and the Peachland Council has no clue about the cyclist/vehicle issue. Frankly, the Mayor sees no problem with the design. He has not been on his bike for a long time, obviously.

    The last thing I am proposing here is for the Town to change the thinking and then designate cyclist to use the pathway. Cyclists on these pathways, along with other users are at risk along with all the other users. There is so-called etiquette in the shared use of these pathways but no “rules”. What I am proposing is a design change whereby the boulevard is narrowed and the parking and flares are eliminated on the lake side of the roadway to provide the space to paint dedicated bikes lanes on both sides of Beach Avenue along the 1.2 km route.

    This the exact situation for bike coalitions like this – make the politicians and public aware of cyclists’ issues. Our council in Peachland needs some enlightenment in this area. I urge you to comment. I feel like a voice in the wilderness here.

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