Kelowna Transit. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna Transit. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Central Okanagan residents invited to give input on regional transport plan

The plan will help Central Okanagan governments work together to connect people and places across the region

Central Okanagan municipalities are asking their residents to share feedback on the area’s first region-wide transportation plan.

Released on June 11, the draft plan follows more than two years of technical studies, consultation, and regional partnership and collaboration.

“It’s important that we hear from those with diverse interests in regional transportation, and we encourage all Central Okanagan residents to get involved,” said Rafael Villareal, administrator of the Sustainable Transportation Partnership of the Central Okanagan (STPCO).

STPCO is a collaboration of the City of Kelowna, City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Westbank First Nation, and the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

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The public can review and provide feedback on the draft until Aug. 20 by participating in the Connecting Our Region virtual open house or registering for a Zoom panel discussion at Participants of the open house will have an opportunity to enter a draw for a chance to win a $700 gift card to any local bike shop.

Following the community engagement, the plan will be updated to incorporate public feedback. The final version of the plan is expected to be presented to municipal councils across the region later in 2020.

The long-range plan establishes a framework of priorities over the next 20 years that will help Central Okanagan governments work together to:

  • connect people and places across the region;
  • help people of all ages and abilities get around;
  • achieve fast and reliable transit;
  • move people and goods more efficiently;
  • prepare for future population growth and technology innovations;
  • create a safe and convenient region-wide bike and trail network;
  • reduce the growth of traffic congestion and greenhouse gases; and
  • support the region’s economic recovery post-COVID-19.

“We see a future where bike and trail networks are integrated with transit, urban centres and regional destinations such as hospitals, the airport and universities,” said Villareal. “We want to set a course for a future where people can make sustainable and affordable transportation choices.”

Some recommendations of the plan include expanded transit service and improved transit infrastructure, 81 new kilometres of regional bicycling and trail facilities, a regional goods movement study, roadway safety and efficiency improvements, and mobility hubs in Peachland and Lake Country, among others.

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