Archive for the ‘Glenmore Road’ Category

Money for Bike Lanes

January 20, 2009

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.

City of Kelowna budget for cycling facilities

April 5, 2008

According to an excellent source, the City of Kelowna puts $400,000 per year towards bike lane projects in Kelowna. They also get monies from the Province and Feds on an irregular basis amounting to another $200,000 per year. Occasionally they put more money towards major projects – the latest example being the Rails with Trails where the City put up $1,000,000 and the Province put up the same amount – for the first phase. This took well over 5 years of planning so realistically the funds should be spread over that time, and not regarded as a one time “grant”.

The city also looks at bike projects from the point of view of safety, usage, suitability, and cost. They claim that their main goal is to reduce the number of vehicles on City roads however I was told by a manager that their main concern is to reduce peak usage (eg. around 8 am weekday mornings and 5 pm or so on weekday evenings). My conclusion from these “goals” is that health, pollution and greenhouse gas issues are not considered priorities. Support for this opinion is the fact that the City of Kelowna refuses to pass an anti idling bylaw – certainly a first step to recognizing the effects of car emissions on health, pollution and GHG’s.

The city does try to add bike lanes and other infrastructure when roads are being constructed or rebuilt as it is the least costly method of providing these facilities. This certainly makes sense.

The City’s current priorities for cycling infrastructure are:

– lanes along Abbott and Lakeshore.

– offroad lanes along part of Gordon Drive.

– trails in Rutland.

There are two glaring omissions in the above list. It is interesting that the City is one of the first to declare the benefits of UBCO to our area and yet the last to make a determined effort to gain legitimate cycling access to the campus.

Putting in safe, effective and practical access to the campus would be one of the most effective means of reducing the number of motor vehicles on city roads. Is there any other large group of people in our community likely to get on a bike than students? I sincerely doubt it.

The second big omission is the Glenmore road to Lake Country situation. As mentioned in previous posts, there are no safe and enjoyable routes from near Lake Country to the Okanagan Lake Bridge. This certainly is a bottleneck when considering the Soaring Eagle Wine route from Osoyoos to Vernon.

I will take a look at monies spent on motor vehicle facilities (roads, parking and the like) in another post.

John.

Soaring Eagle Proposal – Cycling Wine Routes

January 28, 2008

A very recent email from the B.C. Cycling Coalition asked that the following information be brought to the attention of area cyclists. The following is taken directly from that email:

“A few months ago, the British Columbia Cycling Coalition (BCCC) approached the BC Government and proposed a provincial-wide network of cycling routes aimed at encouraging touring cycling within the province. BC’s Soaring Eagle Cycling Routes has been the working title for this proposal by the BCCC.”

“BCCC’s proposal was inspired by Québec’s very successful provincial-wide touring cycling network called “La Route Verte” (http://www.routeverte.com/rv/ang/ ). With such spectacular scenery, why does this province not have such capabilities for touring cycling? If you like the proposal and want to show your support for it, do not hesitate to let the Premier (premier@gov.bc.ca) or the Minister of Transportation (kevin.falcon.mla@leg.bc.ca) know.”

“The province has shown interest in the concept and has asked the BCCC to propose routes in three areas within the province:

1. Circular routes within the wine country of Kelowna from Vernon on the north side and Osoyoos at the south end.

2. Circular routes on the Southern parts of Vancouver Island from Nanaimo south to the San Juan Strait, including the Gulf Islands.

3. From the Georgia Strait through Metro Vancouver up the Fraser Valley to Hope.”

“The Cycling Routes should be appealing to touring cyclists of all skills capabilities, personal effort expenditure, and confidence with cycling on roads. The Routes should also interest out-of-province and British Columbian touring cyclists on day, weekend, or longer trips.”

“The work has started by gathering input for interesting routes from touring cyclists. Now, you are being called on for your suggestions for these three areas.”

“Your input before February 29 would be much appreciated.”

See the link below for routes and your input.

Soaring Eagle Proposal

Okanagan Wine route page:

Soaring Eagle Okanagan Wine Routes

(click on the map for further detail)

Please note that some of the route(s) suggested for the Okanagan Wine route are not practical. Right now there are no safe routes from Kelowna to Lake Country although Glenmore road is suggested as a “lower traffic volume route”. This is simply not accurate. Hwy 97 is also suggested as a route to Vernon from Kelowna, totally ignoring the fact that it is dangerous in a number of areas. I don’t mention this as criticism of those putting the map together, just a reminder that local cyclists must provide input or we will end up with less than viable routes.

John.

Road Right of Way – near Robert Rd.

December 24, 2007
curtis_rd.jpg

I came across this information recently. In the early 1960’s the province planned to route Hwy 97 through the Glenmore Valley and through the north west part of what is now the UBCO campus. They obtained a road right of way to allow this and later made a decision to put Hwy 97 where it is now located. The road right of way still exists and is in the care and control of the City of Kelowna. The map shows the applicable portion of that right of way in red, just to the north west of Robert Rd. Note that most of the rights of way shown are not existing roads.

At some point there was mention of a plan to use this right of way to go across Robert Lake (via a boardwalk or something similar) and then to the UBCO campus. I don’t believe anyone has pursued this option very strongly.

This route crosses Robert Lake and an environmental area however a properly designed boardwalk for pedestrians and cyclists may be an attraction to bird watchers and would have a fairly light footprint. Similar projects have been done on the lakefront.

The City plans to add bike lanes to a road that will eventually go from Glenmore Rd, just south of the landfill over to the UBCO campus. They now have control (ownership I believe) of the land between Glenmore and the campus (Tutt Farm area) although it is in the Agriculture Land Reserve and there may be difficulties in getting approval for a road(s) through it.

I don’t believe that this should be the main route to the campus as it makes it a longer commute from town although better for anyone coming from Lake Country (if Glenmore is ever improved enough to allow cycling from that area). Cyclists concerned about this might want to act sooner rather than later as once the route is put in near the Landfill, the City will be very unlikely to entertain a shorter one in the area of Curtis Road.

Grant and I were able to spend a couple of hours on the blog the other day and now comments should be forwarded to my email address. Please let me know of any other information you might have or anything that should be added to the blog.

I realize that a lot of the content is about UBCO access and the Glenmore Valley. I hope to get out and about in other areas of town in the spring and diversify the information. In the meantime I could use some information relating to other areas.

In the meantime Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all.

John.

Kelowna Cycling Coalition – update from meeting

December 10, 2007

The KCC met on the 6th of December – here are a few highlights:

The City is planning to add a number of bike racks and lockers in the downtown area over the next year.  They realize that they are needed to replace some inadequate racks and to provide more in some areas.

Doug Elmore attended the meeting and discussion ensued about bike lanes vs. a separate bike path along Glenmore Rd from near the McKinley Landing road to Lake Country (about 5.9 km).  Even though the City plans to eventually upgrade the road and add bike lanes on each side, the majority of those at the meeting felt that this was inadequate.  The following points were raised:

– traffic will increase tremendously on that road in the next few years due to continued development in the Lake Country area, more truck traffic due to the Glenmore Landfill, and more traffic to UBCO once the road is completed from the Landfill area on Glenmore across to the campus.

– this traffic will be high speed and will include a large number of big vehicles.

– lanes alongside high speed traffic are very discouraging to novice cyclists and not very enjoyable for any cyclist.   If the City wishes to increase the numbers of commuters from Lake Country then a separate path for cyclists is the best way to go.

Doug has petitions at the main bike shops in town. Please stop by and sign one.  If you are not a cyclist consider that every cyclist means one less car and that makes your commute easier.

glenmore-route.jpg

Discussion also arose about access to the ends of the soon to be completed “Rails withTrails”.  The City has to find a way to ensure safe and easy access from the lake front to the beginning of the trail near the corner of Gordon and the Central Okanagan Bypass.  They are also working on a way to link the end at Spall to the bike lanes on Enterprise.  Suffice to say that I am interested to see how this is done – I am quite happy that I don’t have this problem on my plate, especially the Spall end of the trail.

John

Glenmore Road – bike lanes

November 17, 2007

I spoke to Doug Elmore yesterday. Doug is circulating a petition asking that the City put bike lanes along the side of Glenmore Road from it’s intersection with McKinley Rd. to Lake Country. Currently the lanes end just north of the landfill.

I used to ride to Lake Country occassionally back in the early 1990’s. It wasn’t a bad training loop riding out by way of Glenmore and then returning to Kelowna on Hwy 97. In those days the traffic was light and the lack of bike lanes wasn’t a serious drawback.

Residential development in Lake Country has resulted in Glenmore Rd. becoming the main route into town for thousands of motor vehicles. It is now very unpleasant if not downright dangerous to ride the northern portions of Glenmore Road most times of the day.

Several years ago the City of Kelowna resurfaced the northern portions of Glenmore Road, in order to give it a few extra years life. This raised the surface an inch or two resulting in a drop from the pavement to the shoulder. It may have been good for motorists and the City’s budget but it made the route even worse for cycling.

To sign Doug’s petition check at any of the local bike shops, including Gerrick Cycles, Kelowna Cycles, Fresh Air Experience and Cyclepath. Please note that the Mayor and city have made it clear that they give petitions very little consideration – it would worthwhile to sign the petition and also write a letter to the “Mayor and Council”. It is my understanding that if you write the Mayor and Council you will get a response – if you write to departments within the City you may not receive an answer.

Mayor and Council, City of Kelowna, 1435 Water St., Kelowna, B.C. V1Y 1J4

or:  http://www.kelowna.ca/CM/Page53.aspx  – email addresses are on this page along with information on contacting council members and the Mayor.

John.