To the editor:
In January, City of West Kelowna council considered a staff report on the continued development of 200 houses on Vineyard Estates/Mission Hill: The last three phases. The staff report included a Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) which made a clearly erroneous statement that there was only one access into Vineyard Estates.
The TIA made a recommendation, supported by the Advisory Planning Committee, that the barriers at Menu and McCallum should be removed to provide alternative accesses. The TIA is wrong.
West Kelowna council did not seem to appreciate that there are three roads into Vineyard Estates, plus two emergency entrances and at least two pedestrian accesses which could be used in an emergency.
43 years ago, Menu started life as a cul-de-sac of a few houses, which was lengthened 32 years ago to include a few more houses and lengthened again in the 90’s. So, the road is a patchwork of constructions built to support light local traffic. Perhaps we should look at why the barricades were erected in the first place and ask ourselves: Would pedestrians be safe on the narrow winding roads of Menu and McCallum? Yes, it’s wide in some places but very narrow and steep in others.
Would road beds built to rural standards 45 years ago survive being pounded by 400 vehicles a day, the estimated increase in traffic. Would the blind corners and switch backs on these roads be safe with this level of traffic? Would the embankments supporting the roads be up to the job of carrying today’s heavy trucks? Would there be more accidents in winter when the residents park their vehicles on the road rather than at the bottom of steep drives, reducing traffic to single file? Should the CWK add a roundabout at Ogden to cope with the increased traffic entering Boucherie?
The impact of opening Menu cascades to all the connecting roads.
Back in 2004 council looked at the situation and decided that it would be dangerous to convert a quiet backwater cul-de-sac not designed for heavy traffic into a Boucherie-like arterial road.
The roads in Vineyard Estates will be at 60 per cent of capacity at full build-out and can support the new development without opening Menu and McCallum, if you believe the TIA.
As one councillor said, if you shop around enough, you’ll find a consultant who will tell you what you want to hear. I hope someone asks the consultants to return the cost of the Traffic Impact Analysis.
Lakeview Heights Community Association