Discussion 4 – Considerations for Kelowna

What important considerations do you see for the existing or alternate corridor options being explored for Kelowna?

56 responses to “Discussion 4 – Considerations for Kelowna

  1. Kate

    There is a very short period in the day in which congestion is an issue, making the cost of a second crossing completely unjustified to deal with the situation. People choose to live in West Kelowna and commute to Kelowna because of lower house prices. A bridge toll would be an excellent tool to impact this choice. Use this money to increase the 97 Rapid Transit to run at a minimum every 15 minutes. Give the toll and transit improvements enough time to see if there is a measurable impact in reducing single occupancy vehicles, increasing transit use, or (best of all) encouraging people to live closer to where they work. There is no logic in spending billions of dollars for something that may have a simple solution.

  2. Shirley

    If the bridge is going to be maxed out by the year 2040, what would be best for Kelowna? A second highway going right through the center of the City within 2 blocks of the existing highway with a massive 2nd bridge off Manhattan point costing in the billions of dollars due to its sheer length? This seems to be what the Province and City have always wanted and are pushing for in spite of many very intelligent people on this site advising otherwise. With all due respect to the people living in West Kelowna and on WFN lands that commute into Kelowna, in my opinion (shared by many others) a second crossing into Central Kelowna as proposed is not a good idea. It would make the Central corridor area of the City even more unusable by making the traffic between the two (very close) highways a gridlock nightmare, effectively and permanently cutting Kelowna in 2 halves with a no-man’s land in between. A much more sane idea would be to work with the current corridor while seeking methods to reduce the need for vehicle traffic across the bridge in the future. Many improvements can be made to the existing corridor (including improving connectivity within the City from N to S) without committing to the outrageous expense of a new highway and bridge (across a very wide part of the lake). By-passes can be improved around the Lake. And, if needed, and ONLY if needed, the existing bridge can be replaced with a bigger one in the future. Hope you are listening… knock, knock…

    1. Jeff

      We completely agree with you. The second bridge would destroy the north end, and connecting roads to get to it, create more noise, affect house prices, look terrible, cost an absolute fortune, most certainly would have environmental impacts and quite frankly think would be under utilized especially if highway 97 is reworked with six lanes with grade-separated interchanges. Once the Tolko mill is gone, having a hotel or residential development combined with parkland along the waterfront would be such a better option for this beautiful land vs a second bridge.

  3. John

    Can someone tell me why the option of a bypass highway from West Kelowna to Vernon not been considered been built on the west side of Okanagan Lake. Road already there; so it should work. Yeah I know, traffic would not come into downtown Kelowna, people will loose their jobs. Penticton has a bypass and the locals are all dying off due to no traffic jams. Vernon, now, might be a sample of what Kelowna will be like in twenty years. Trust me, no one than will be thinking about stopping to shop, just get me by this total mess.
    And folks in Kelowna will be coming downtown to shop once a month. My wife and I come into town “once” a week now to shop. And that is a traffic hassle, and we live out near the airport.
    Of course it’s all politics and big money, so the bridge comes through Kelowna. So that folks and truckers can see the Kelowna joke. Sure hope I’m dead by than.
    My father told me when I finished school at Kelowna Junior High back in 1959
    I could be what ever I wanted. But would disown me if I went into politics. I have passed that onto my Sons, only because no politician to this day has shown concern for intelligence to improve folks concerns. It’s always how much money can “I” make off of this, or that.

  4. Maggie

    I’m wondering why Peachland is not included in this discusssion , a bypass from south of peachland to a second crossing via the connector is the only logical long term solution . why bother with decongesting west kelowna only to get backed up again in Peachland .

  5. Ryan

    The impact downtown Kelowna does not justify the impact that a second bridge crossing would have on the downtown core or Central Kelowna. MOTI seems to be coming up with 1950’s solutions to fix a 2017 issue. I would say it’s debatable if there is even an issue. Can’t we explore tolling the current bridge ? How about rapid transit options? The impacts of cutting off Knox Mtn park, ruining Kelowna’s North End or decking the existing Hwy corridor aren’t acceptable solutions.

  6. David

    While dealing with Hwy 97 congestion, Springfield Road congestion, from Ziprick to Richter, should also be considered. Congestion/gridlock is already significant during work hours Monday to Saturday. Thank you for this opportunity to comment.

  7. heiko

    i think there should be a dam south of kelowna and a second one north of kelowna. once the dams are complete start filling the the space inbetween the two dams with rocks and whatever to the level of kelowna itself. the resould will be a lots land to play with, streets, houses whatever needs to be build.

  8. qway

    A decision to have a second crossing into downtown Kelowna is nothing short of asinine. Who dreams up this garbage and who’s pockets are being filled. Either bypass Kelowna completely or fix the mess you created with the existing bridge!

  9. Concerned

    We live downtown Kelowna, towards the north end. We live downtown because we walk to work, restaurants, entertainment, the lake and Knox Mountain. Over the past 10 years the area continues to improve with upgrades to homes, more store fronts opening in the industrial area, and walking and biking paths being added. I don’t understand how adding a bridge at the base of Knox with a new highway leading to it is going to help improve downtown Kelowna. The difficulty seems not to be the bridge itself, but the bottle neck of traffic on either side. The solution needs to be directing through traffic around Kelowna, not into it. Something needs to change with the way traffic comes in and out of the city, reducing the amount of traffic lights by creating over or underpasses perhaps? What about some type of rapid transit? If there was a subway or skytrain that ran up and down Harvey ave from over the bridge it could be an environmentally friendly alternative to single passenger traffic clogging up the roads at rush hour. Please reconsider bringing traffic to the currently traffic calm base of Knox Mountain where so many people get to enjoy nature to close to downtown.

  10. Blake

    Kelowna has one thing to offer and that is a wonderful lake resource in the centre of town. It makes no sense to plan to clutter this large Lake Bay with bridges and the resulting noise and visual pollution. We can then plan to have balconies and waterfront restaurants over looking bridge ramps and exposed to road noise.

    Transportation is undergoing its biggest transformation since Henry Ford. Autonomous cars and trucks will radically alter road use and required number of cars to service a population. Why own a car if you can call one up 24 hours a day.
    These autonomous cars will move about the roadways in a more efficient fashion at a uniform pace. Combine this with LRT systems for growing city populations and increasing densities means we will look to have fewer roads and parking lots, even restrictions on vehicular use in cities.

    Clearly there is a need to have a major transport corridor (bypass) around Kelowna to the south or to the north for transport traffic as well as traffic not intending to stop in the city. This highway should not even cross the lake or need a bridge.

    Alternatively and In the short term (2040 to 2060) this bypass concept could be accommodated by twining the existing bridge to an elevated highway over the existing highway corridor.

    Kelowna should be concerned about the best use of our Lake and internal transport efficiencies in the limited space available not solving Provincial transportation corridor needs by cutting up our city core with highways.

  11. JRD

    The plan to run a full speed highway very close to the heart of downtown Kelowna is problematic. Noise pollution as well as the visual impacts of an urban highway are not particularly attractive to people who might consider living downtown in the future. Cities depend on vibrant downtown areas so it is important to make sure that downtown Kelowna will always be a desirable area to live for posterity.
    To this end, I propose that if the highway is placed on the north side of downtown that all efforts are made to reduce its aesthetic impact. The design team should consider options like trenching and possibly even capping the highway. I understand that trenching is difficult due to the ground level not being much higher than the lake, however, a combination of semi-trenching and capping a small 1km section that is closest to downtown could make all the difference.
    This option could also be used for a small section of the Westbank downtown. If you want to tear down buildings beside the police station for a highway, at least cap it and give us a park in place of buildings.
    Highway capping projects:

  12. dennis

    I think the proposed option near Poplar Point will have a negative impact on the access and current enjoyment level of many citizens who use Knox Mountain Park. Knox Mountain is the jewel park of our city.

    Have a large major highway artery at this location would be most unfortunate.

  13. L

    An option for a Kelowna bypass from Aspen Grove to Vernon, or redesigning Westside Road, would create jobs and reduce congestion through Kelowna for transport trucks and travellers that don’t have Kelowna as their destination. I don’t believe businesses in Kelowna and West Kelowna will suffer with less traffic in our growing community. Only having a second crossing, with the same amount of traffic meeting further up Hwy 97 will just create a new set of problems and won’t be a long term solution.

  14. paul

    Bypass West Kelowna use an upper bench paralleling Westside Rd. to Vernon.

  15. Sandy

    Obviously, avoiding Kelowna altogether for a bipass road, would go a long way to resolving the traffic problem. Peachland to Hwy33 crossing would take trucks, and people who have a destination other than Kelowna, airport bound people, people going north.
    The Westside road option however, a road that cuts through wildlife habitat and residential areas, before getting to the most dangerous road in Canada, Westside road, is a very bad and not well thought out option. The Bear Creek Provincial Park camping makes this road very busy , bumper to bumper, with RV’s, trucks and campers during summer months.
    In the meantime, Reduce the # of traffic lights on the 97. Change the number of lanes going south in the evening and north in the morning.

  16. karen

    I have lived in Kelowna since 1966. I grew up on the west side and now live in Kelowna. I am not satisfied with the outlined bridge proposals. Moving the highway north of Clement towards Knox Mtn. is not a good idea at all – it will create noise and destroy the relationship people have with Knox Mountain Park. Transport trucks should find an alternative route, one that does not even go through downtown Kelowna or West Kelowna. The current bridge could last many more years if over and underpasses are utilized.

  17. Chris

    Build for way in the future. Have the crossing out near cars landing.

    1. Rhonda

      This is bang on so people can bypass Kelowna to he airport not to mention Lake country is the fastest growing area!

  18. Heather

    Building roads through parks and neighbourhoods is not a sustainable or rationale solution to congestion. I agree with comment below re 1950 thinking to a 2017 to 2030 problem. Think outside the box re helping move people from point A to point B with transit, park and ride, cycling options and providing the necessary amenities on both sides of the lake. More bridges and roads will increase pollution and noise which is already impacting quality of life in the Okanagan Valley.

  19. Maureen

    Save the enormous cost of building a second crossing of Okanagan Lake and destroying parkland as well as the north end of downtown Kelowna by fixing what we already have. Do it with future capabilities in mind rather than short-term planning that is outgrown too quickly (think Deerfoot instead of 16th/Hwy#1 in Calgary):
    1. Improve Hwy 97 in Kelowna by making it 6 lanes non-stop from Bennett Bridge to McCurdy, removing all business frontage access and stoplights through to UBCO, and adding grade-separated interchanges at major spots – like a real highway (ie Deerfoot in Calgary).
    2. Open Bennett Bridge to all 6 lanes (3 west, 3 east) and allow the 3rd eastbound lane to be restricted to Sneena Road merge traffic until at least 50m onto the bridge so that nightmare spot is improved – it is a dangerous bottleneck right now.
    3. Remove all Hwy 97 stoplights in West Kelowna, replacing with fewer grade-separated interchanges for local traffic access.
    4. Make Dobbin Road in West Kelowna business district the Hwy 97 corridor, with 4 lanes and a few elevated interchanges for local access instead of the many stoplights.

  20. Raffi

    In line with most of the commentators, I don’t think the capacity of Hwy 97 is causing traffic issues in Kelowna and West Kelowna. Every regular user knows that the main problem is the queuing due to very bad traffic management on this road. So yes, like JRD proposed, lowering the highway as I already proposed in the discussion here https://www.castanet.net/news/West-Kelowna/183440/Tunnel-under-downtown (see image in the latest comment which depicts the intersection Harvey-Spall) and getting rid of traffic lights would probably allow a much higher traffic bandwidth than two badly managed, parallel highways, one of them literally destroying anything that is attractive about Kelowna downtown.

  21. Gary

    I agree with those comments below regarding the NEED for a SkyTrain model of transportation – elevated rapid transit – from Westbank to Lake Country. Adding increased capacity for motor vehicles will only attract more vehicles and, within a decade or two, we will be in the same diffculty or worse.

  22. Lindsay

    Please remove any option that will impact our existing park space and natural recreational & wildlife areas!

    Improve the existing corridor & look into better options for rapid transit.

    Demolishing the natural beauty and recreational use of our park land and natural surroundings is a HORRIBLE idea that will only negatively impact this city and the whole Okanagan Valley. It shouldn’t even be an option!!

    The Okanagan Valley is a paradise because of its amazing and easily accessible natural surroundings. If you ruin the amazing natural surroundings, you will ruin the majority of the reason anyone desires to visit or live here.

    Think forward! Once natural beautiful land is gone, its gone forever and there isn’t any more being made!

  23. Sandra

    Bringing traffic through the North End of Kelowna brings disturbing noise, visual and physical pollution to the valuable green space users and residence. The lower area of Knox Mountain Park is a multiuse park including the only two public tennis courts in North Kelowna. People gather for community concerts, community events, family and private functions and access to the hiking trails and lake. Parking is already at capacity with overflow into surrounding streets. The existing slopes along the park have a history of instability that may be exacerbated by heavy traffic. A second crossing results in detrimental environmental effects to fish, wildlife and the foreshore of Okanagan Lake.

  24. Valari

    Bypass, rapid transit, anything but a bridge. I used to live just off Clement and could not use my deck due to road noise. They have a great walking, rollerblading, and bike path that runs adjacent Clement and is well used. If traffic were to be funnelled here I wonder how pleasureable that would be.

  25. Ela

    Building a second bridge in Kelowna North Location, by the Knox Mountain, is a horrific idea!!!! It is a crime !!! That is the PRIME recreational, cultural and residential area !!!! Beaches and parks in Kelowna are already heavily taken away from the public. Instead of shrinking beaches and parks, allow for more parks, walkways and beach accesses! Kelowna South, Downtown and Kelowna North (and all other beaches) are the jewels of the town and the main reason why majority of people decide to move or spend their vacation here (and bring tons of money!). Reducing the area and ruining it by traffic, noise and pollution will only decrease economic development not to mention right of people to enjoy beautiful natural resources. Hopefully ,if Tolko and other industry find another location (in 10 years?) that area should be prime residential area with hopefully more parks,beaches ,walkways , restaurants and little shops.The traffic should in any case be diverted from the downtown and bridge built away from the best Kelowna can offer ! Trucks shouldn’t go through existing bridge anyways. There are better location for heavy traffic which might bring economic growth to the areas like Peachland or Vernon.

  26. Brett

    The alternative cooridor planned through the heart of Kelowna’s downtown core will only further islandize a downtown core that already has one highway running through it. Look to history and see the many examples of major cities across the world now removing highways through their core and do not repeat the same mistakes of the past. Actually invest in transit for once with a proper Skytrain or Subway and a large portion of commuter traffic would be reduced, however, if the minimum amount is invested in transit and the vehicles are of poor quality, good luck getting people out of their cars. Include wifi, USB ports, comfy seating, etc. to turn the morning/afternoon commute into a positive experience and make transit desirable. With that being said, I live in the Knox area and for me to take the bus downtown costs $5, to park and drive my own vehicle downtown costs $6 so there is zero incentive to take transit. Why wait in the cold for a dilapitated bus when I can drive for a dollar more? Most days I walk but regardless there is no incentive to ride transit at the current transit ticket prices. The solution to this issue is pretty simple and it comes in the form of a complete bypass of the City. Kelowna will easily stand on its own two feet without an additional highway through its core. It’s 2017, that the ministry took two years to develop a single idea that are all the exact same solution tells you where this is headed so please speak up!

  27. Shocked

    I recently learned the proposed second bridge location was Kelowna North !? I was truly shocked that in 21st century they would think to built major highway , which would serve heavy trucks in the best parks/recreational ,residential downtown core. What a backward thinking! That would permanently ruin the area with visible, noise and air pollution. There are so many other better locations to bypass the City.

  28. Lesley

    NO to bridge in Knox Mountain/Manhattan point/Kelowna North!

  29. Matt

    Proposing a bridge/highway on the base of Knox Mountain or Manhattan point makes me seriously question the qualifications and intentions of people employed by Planning Department/ MOTI BC ! It is 21st century! Wake up and plan for a solution that would not permanently destroy the best Kelowna has to offer! Thanks

  30. Thomas

    Kelowna North is the WORST place for the second bridge . This should not be allowed ! To ruin Knox Mountain park , park and beach on Ellis and Manhattan Point park , future walkways ( I hope City will make them when Tolko is gone) is not acceptable!

  31. Eric

    It’s hard to believe this proposal is actually real. Why not consider simple approaches to the commuter traffic such as: a) time the lights on 97 all the way through Kelowna so if you’re going the speed limit you only stop once; or b) reward and encourage existing public transit use (how many FREE bus passes could you give with a fraction of the money you would spend building a whole bridge?). If we want to think long-term, we are going to have to address the underlying cause of the commuter traffic unless we want to end up like so many other cities where much of the workforce can’t afford to buy a house on the right side of the lake/river/border…It is our chance to be better than all those other places. Consider working on making surrounding communities more attractive places to live AND do business, so people don’t have to make this choice.

  32. Miriam

    As a rsident of the North End for more than 35 years,cI would like to share the following.
    It would be a very poor and sad decission to ruin Knox Mountain area with a big highway and bridge. This is an area where retirement homes were just built for the pioneers of Kelowna. These people made Kelowna what it is now. Young families are building houses and renovating the older ones. Knox Mountain is the end of the Sonora Dessert and has special species of plants. Wild life is abundant, in this area , this is a very special part of town. The parks in this neighbourhood are used by many many people. All kinds of sports are played for young and older people, kids can play and ride their bikes safely in the parks and the elderly can walk here without fear and noise.
    I can not believe that any person with any feeling and appritiation for the above would think of building a highway and bridge near Knox Mountain and Poplar point, deliberately destroying parks, plants animal life and poluting our neighbourhoods.

  33. Cindy

    As a previous Knox Mountain resident, the idea of having a second lake crossing at the Knox Mtn/Poplar Point area is a terrible idea and I believe will impact the north end of the downtown core in negative way. The beautiful park lands now located in the Knox area will be disrupted with noise and traffic congestion, and all the toxins and air quality issues that go with that type of infrastructure introduction into that environment. I would think that an environmental impact assessment is absolutely necessary (if not performed already) to determine what impact on water quality, wildlife, air etc that this kind of proposed project would have. the amount of traffic congestion that would introduce into the north core is ludicrous. Perhaps revising the current infrastructure in place now can be performed by expanding the bridge and roadways. Many metropolitan cities across the world have proved that raised roadways to accommodate traffic by-passes can move large volumes of vehicles through a similar footprint of infrastructure as is already in place. Perhaps a raised, true highway thoroughfare should be considered above the road and bridge via West Kelowna/Downtown and through to Lake country.

  34. Rob

    Bridge in any of the proposed Kelowna North location would be a major mistake!

    1.Why deliberately ruining the best parks, historic and cultural site of Kelowna?

    2. Kelowna North is rapidly changing. There is a total turn over of who lives and works there .Demographically it is becoming much younger, more educated, higher income ! It is almost impossible to buy a house in Kelowna North today, due to very high demand for that area and bidding wars! All these buyers are paying high prices for small , old houses just because they want to live and work in that area. There will be a major opposition from public once they start real planing. Why waste time and money now? In 10-20 years properties will be so expensive that it would be way too expensive to buy them of, or ruin them and build a bridge and highway on top of that.

    3. Clement Rd. (proposed as connecting road) , or any other road they intend to build, is becoming more and more congested due to lots of new, high density new residential and commercial buildings. In 10years , it will be quite congested. In 20 years (when they plan to build a bridge ) it will be just a local road serving residents and businesses in that area. So why planing something so major and expensive when it is already doomed ?!

  35. Adrian

    So far there are 234 comments on this site-May3/2017 .
    Yet on March 29 ,2017 , both Kelowna Now and Castanet published and article stating the Ministry is going ahead with plans to build a bridge there.
    So what is the purpose of these survey? They don’t listen to very wise and logical solutions public proposes but for the reasons only known to them are going ahead with plans that are going to ruin the best parks in town and that will not solve any problem but just bring more traffic and congestion into area that is already congested and due to lots of residential and commercial developments continues to rapidly grow .

    1. Jeff

      We don’t think that the second crossing is a done deal and hope it never happens. It seems outrageous now and going forward. Our understanding is that the current bridge would reach max capacity by 2040 if nothing is done. However; if Hwy 97 is reconfigured to better flow traffic through Kelowna and west Kelowna using grade separated interchanges then the current bridge can’t possibly reach capacity by 2040. We don’t think people understand this and should!! It’s too bad the current bridge is not 6 lanes but even 5 lanes with consistent traffic flow and no lights bottle necking the bridge will solve the problem. The issue is that there are traffic lights and if they are gone then problem solved. No second bridge needed. Pretty simple. Least amount of impact and also likely the most cost effective solution too.

  36. Bob

    Harvey ave through Kelowna should not be double tiered similar to the Gardiner expressway in Toronto. It will divide the city.
    Better to trench or tunnel the highway if the existing bridge is expanded. However, the bridge itself could be double tiered if this is technically feasible
    The best approach though is a second crossing tying into Clement

  37. Alice

    NO to bridge in Kelowna North!

  38. Jerry

    It seems that MOTI can’t be trusted! First they spend millions of dollars in 2008 for a 5 lane bridge and announce at the very opening ceremony that this is not sufficient and that they will need to build another bridge !? Like, nobody knew that 5 lane (1 lane more than the old bridge ) will not be sufficient ! Now they want to spend many more millions of our money and build a bridge in Kelown North, location that is already becoming congested by itself by residents and employees who live and work in downtown, plus the visitors…. And above all they want to permanently ruin Knox Mountain, parks and beaches!!! Who can trust them??? I know… Big construction companies who lobby for big projects so they can profit on taxpayers money. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were “little gifts of appreciation” given to MOTI people by those companies. Isn’t it obvious, or am I missing something ?
    Do not build bridge in Kelowna North !

  39. Jeff

    A second bridge would destroy the north end and connecting roads to get to it, also it would affect westside Rd to Hwy 97, create more noise, affect house prices, look absolutely terrible, cost a fortune, most certainly would have environmental impacts and quite frankly think would be under utilized (relative to the cost) especially if highway 97 is reworked with six lanes with grade-separated interchanges. Once the Tolko mill is gone, having a hotel or residential development combined with parkland along the waterfront would be such a better option for this land. A second bridge just simply does not make sense now or into the future.

  40. Barbara

    Bringing more traffic through the centre of Kelowna makes no sense. Especially to bring semi’s and people travelling on North (or South) and clog up the secondary (Clement) road with people not planning on stopping. The north end is a beautiful area that is an extension of the downtown area – is all flat land and can support a huge population should Kelowna continue to grow. Knox Mountain is a park that supports outside games as well as walkers and hikers – which to me would be spoiled by mega traffic barreling through the area. Manhattan Point and Poplar Point are very quiet neighborhoods that would definitely be destroyed by a bridge passing by

  41. Carmen

    I am opposed to adding a second highway and bridge crossing in the North end of Kelowna downtown. Not only will it deliver significant air, noise and visual pollution, it will also negatively impact a community that is emerging as a cultural, historical and natural expansion of the city’s downtown (somewhat akin to the Kensington region in Calgary, but with the added bonus of Knox Mountain park and the lake). A city’s downtown is, arguably, one of its most important aspects, and is key to a strong and healthy community in general. While there are many ways to revitalize a City’s core and add to its vibrancy, none of the strategies include adding a major vehicle thoroughfare. People opt to live in the downtown region for its walkability, community and interest – all of which would be severely affected by the addition of a major highway and crossing. Aside from the severely negative impacts this proposal would have on Kelowna’s core region, it would also likely not solve the problem, replacing one area of congestion with another. I agree with many of the comments on this site – all of which are articulate and none of which support this concept. You’ve asked for public input…here it is. Please hear what people are saying, not just give it lip service. This concept is not the solution.

  42. Thomas

    A bridge near Knox Mountain/Manhattan Point is NOT the answer to traffic flow issues in Kelowna! This will only destroy surrounding residential areas and parkland.

  43. Terry

    I am not really opposed to a crossing in the north end but like the current feel of the area in its current state. Could stand to see the Tolkien mill out of that area but that is of value to the local economy. There is also a south consideration. Crossing at rattlesnake island to peachland to connect with 97 and the connector. Also chute lake road to penticton then also becomes an option further develop.

  44. Kinga

    Thank you for seeking our input. The most important considerations for the alternate corridor options are the impacts of these corridors on the communities through which they would be built. This includes the impacts on our parks. Some of the options proposed would have a significant deleterious impact on the access and appearance of the base of Knox Mountain Park, Kelowna’s premier and most heavily visited urban park. Although the mountain itself might be spared development, the enjoyment of this quiet and beautiful park would be impacted by the increased traffic flow so close to its base. The options proposed further south would impact Kelowna’s growing north end cultural neighbourhood, and be devastating to home owners in the North End.

  45. Kinga

    We need to take a step back and ask whether a second bridge crossing is even necessary, or if we can alter the current infrastructure in a way to make it work more efficiently. Can we commit to alternative transportation options, and ways of getting people (and not just cars) across the lake? Driverless cars and other technologies may greatly change the way we move around the city. Building highways through cities has fallen out of favour with the realization of their destructive effects on communities and residents. The approach championed by Robert Moses to favour highways over public transit is outdated and largely abandoned by forward-thinking transportation planners. I hope that those planning this project will see the light.

  46. Rob

    I live two blocks from Knox Mountain park.Putting a bridge crossing and highway at the base of Knox Mountain park would be devastating to this neighbourhood.I am against such a plan.The best option would be to cutoff the Coquihalla Highway up where Bear Creek Main road already is in place ,following the same route with a new Highway and coming out past Bear Creek campground and continued straight across the lake at that point then over the mountain to Glenmore for a by pass to Winfield or alternative approach to Kelowna .We don’t need more congestion and traffic all funnelled into downtown kelowna directly from the new proposed bridge crossings.That should have been the plan from when they built the Coquihalla .The Bear Creek Main Road is a way lesser grade than Brenda Mines area.

  47. Derek

    I am completely against the proposed second crossing in north Kelowna. The city was never developed to support or accomdate such a project through the middle of wildlife habitat both on the waterfront and Knox Mountain Park. Significant migration of wildlife foraging in the north end all year long as a result of residential development of Knox Mountain and north has already resulted in reduced habitat for these creatures.. There is also no significant space available to accommodate a 4 or 6 lane road that is necessary, if a second crossing even gets built, without the destruction of current residences or industry in the north end. The mill is already an huge source of both noise and air pollution that we as the North End Community Association battle with year round. I can only imagine the air and noise pouution from a second crossing in this area, let alone the unpleasant visual issues that a ground level or suspended roadway would create. The city has already increased the density in this area due to R6 zoning and the explosion of carriage housing. It seems contradictory to city planning to increase the residential dwellIing capacity of this area, to then allow a major thoroughfare to run through the middle.

  48. Jodi

    I am not in favor of having the second bridge crossing in the Kelowna center. Already too much congestion in this area. I feel there should be an alternate route for travellers that bypasses Kelowna completely.

  49. adam

    Firstly, let’s face it, highway 97 isn’t now nor has it ever been a good idea! the original short sighted designers of 97 painted themselves into a corner and then shot themselves in the foot by building a strip mall on either side of the highway and this has resulted in some of , if not the worst traffic in Canada for a city of this size, I’m not referring to population, just square kms.
    Ask any driver in Kelowna and i will guarantee they tell you that they are lucky to get through two intersections before they hit a series of infuriating red lights.
    Flow Of Traffic ; there is none of this at any time of the business day .
    the solution to this problem shouldn’t take a team of high priced engineers who don’t actually live in the city to come up with designs for a bridge that will effectively destroy what is one of the only original neighbourhoods in the city. The city doesn’t need another bridge for junkies and homeless people to live under, not to mention the pollution and the noise that comes with running a major roadway along the base of a mountain where the wind flow will carry all of that pollution and noise right into whatever homes are left between the two bridges.
    Eyesore is the word that comes to mind when i try to envision this idiotic concept . I grew up in Kelowna and i have always thought of it as a small town with visions of grandeur , there is no physical space left for it to grow into, enter the greedy land developers and the equally greedy realtors and suddenly you’ve got “a city”. These two factions have run rampant and unchecked for about twenty years and clearly they have added to the overgrowth of a city that outgrew its roadway infrastructure by also about twenty years.
    It is time for a reality check Kelowna, building a second bridge is not a good option, period.
    here is what i feel is a logical solution to the problem;
    – build underpasses at every intersection along 97
    – pull out the decorative meridians and widen 97 with at least another lane
    – remove all of the lights from Abbot st to the airport and have actual traffic flow
    – an elevated highway like the major cities in America would also be ideal
    I would like to think that these are viable options .

  50. Paul

    We need to look long term and ironically do something we should have done ages ago like most other cities, and that is build a bypass. We need to get the traffic away from the middle of the city and give people an option to circumvent the most congested corridor of our city. In addition we need to work towards reducing vehicular traffic and ideally develop a LRT option to move people into and through Kelowna from outlying areas. We could expand the LRT as population and economics dictate and provide park and ride options from strategic points. Building a second crossing nearby the current bridge and forcing traffic through the bottleneck transportation network Kelowna currently has is not the answer. Also, building a second crossing to force traffic through close proximity to Knox Mountain Park and other routes through other sensitive areas would be a travesty.

  51. Bob

    Looking at the population density predictions in the report for downtown and North Kelowna, the existence of the current cultural district, the attraction of the Knox Mountain recreational area and the recreational potential for the waterfront area between downtown and Knox (especially once the mill is removed), it seems ludicrous to consider putting a freeway to a second bridge. It is hard to believe that a crossing south of the bridge that would divert traffic south of West Kelowna would not attract sufficient traffic. Nothing in the proposed report represents a bypass of Kelowna. A southern route from Sexsmith road through the south end of Kelowna to somewhere around Peachland would allow a complete bypass of the Kelowna 97 corridor and a complete bypass of West Kelowna. Yes the bridge would be costly but there would be tremendous savings by bypassing West Kelowna.

  52. ronald

    what is the status of 97 being twinned from Kelowna to Kamloops?

    1. Moderator

      Hello Ronald
      I spoke with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and they have provided the following reply:

      The last remaining two-lane section of Highway 97 between Kamloops and Kelowna is from Monte Creek to Vernon and there are no plans to twin it at this time. The ministry recognizes that motorists would like more passing opportunities and we will be reassessing the need for passing lanes along this corridor for future consideration.

      The Central Okanagan Planning Study is focusing on the highway corridor from Peachland through Lake Country because that’s where we are experiencing the highest traffic volumes outside of the Lower Mainland. The study is exploring a wide range of options to make the existing highway corridor more efficient including enhanced transit and a possible second crossing of Okanagan Lake.

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