With the help of public input and the involvement of the Technical Advisory Committee and the Community Working Group in ideas generation workshops, the Central Okanagan Planning Study has been generating options to address identified problems including congestion, intersection delays, safety, reliability and accommodation of cyclists and pedestrians.
The resulting long list of preliminary concepts includes a range of potential solutions to problems and improvements to Highway 97 that would meet the long-term (40+ years) needs of the corridor. Consideration is being given to both upgrades to the existing corridor and new, alternate corridors.
Key elements to existing corridor concepts include:
- Removing traffic signals
- Reducing conflicts at high collision locations
- Maintaining local connections for all modes across the highway as much as possible
- Accommodating and supporting uncongested, reliable transit on the highway
For alternate corridor concepts, key characteristics include:
- Diverting traffic away from the existing corridor to provide relief
- Creating connections to the existing corridor
- Meeting high-speed design criteria
The Spring 2017 Consultation Companion describes the many preliminary concepts that have been assembled for public input. The displays for the Spring 2017 public open houses in Lake Country, Kelowna and West Kelowna contain a summary of the same information. The displays also include options that have already been screened out and won’t be moving forward because they wouldn’t address the problems or are clearly not feasible. The screening process will continue to narrow down the number of options through a preliminary assessment of community impacts, environmental impacts, traffic diversion and travel time, and engineering feasibility.
The next step will be to combine the remaining concepts to create corridor-wide options covering the full Central Okanagan, including specified bridge crossing locations. These corridor-wide options will undergo a detailed comparative evaluation, including cost estimates and consideration of public input, to identify a preferred series of integrated improvements for the Central Okanagan.