Spring 2015 Engagement Milestone

The study’s first major public engagement milestone was marked with public open houses in May 2015 in Kelowna and West Kelowna, accompanied by online consultation. By June 1, 2015, a total of 1,889 people had viewed the materials, with 223 feedback forms completed.

Most participants indicated they use the Highway 97 corridor regularly. The preferred mode of travel for respondents from all areas is overwhelmingly the automobile. While transit was the second or third choice for many, there were more respondents who choose to cycle as their second or third choice. Total respondents riding bicycles outnumbered those who use transit.

Respondents overwhelmingly indicated that the results of the corridor performance assessment matched their own experience. Congestion is considered the most serious issue on the corridor, with safety a somewhat distant second. Many expressed the view that the current situation is obvious and were eager to proceed to solutions.

View the complete Public Engagement Report.

Fall 2015 Engagement Milestone

The second major public engagement milestone included open houses on November 30 and December 1, 2015, with specific online input collected to December 31, 2015.

For this milestone, the study team reported on estimated future travel demand, and sought input on the role of Highway 97, solutions to future traffic congestion and the location of a possible future second crossing of Okanagan Lake.

During this active engagement period, 1,458 people viewed the information and 267 completed feedback forms.

Respondents generally appeared to favour an alternate route to Highway 97 and another bridge to address traffic congestion. However, there was also significant support for reducing congestion by replacing signals with overpasses and other access control measures. Those who favoured an additional bridge tended to favour a location to the north of the existing W.R. Bennett Bridge. View the complete Public Engagement Report.

Spring 2017 Engagement Milestone

Open houses held in Lake Country, Kelowna, West Kelowna and Lake Country during March 2017 served as key engagement and consultation milestones, designed to present possible existing and alternate corridor options in each region. The focus was on presenting preliminary options for the corridor to address four key considerations identified by the public during previous engagement:

  1. Addressing future congestion
  2. Identifying a preferred second crossing location
  3. Implementing measures to reduce travel demand
  4. Enhancing Highway 97

Approximately 615 people attended the three open houses. A total of 107 feedback forms were collected in-person and by email and 121 feedback forms were collected online.

In West Kelowna, respondents tended to favour existing corridor options over alternate corridor options. In Kelowna, there was mixed reaction to most existing and alternate corridor options, with stronger negative response to options that would involve routes leading to Poplar Point and Manhattan Point. For options in Lake Country, response was mixed.

While the precise location of a potential second crossing has not been identified, the potential east and west landing points for a second crossing have been narrowed to include:

  • West Side (south of Old Ferry Wharf Road to south of Bear Creek Provincial Park)
  • East Side (south of Poplar Point to south of Manhattan Point)
  • Existing Location (expansion of capacity)

The majority of respondents did not approve of a second crossing, preferring instead to see improvements to the existing highway and expanding the capacity of the existing W.R. Bennett Bridge.

View the complete Public Engagement Report.