Crosswalk safety and the intersection of Old Okanagan Highway and Butt Road are areas of concern for West Kelowna council.
Staff provided an update on Pedestrian Improvement Programs (PIP) and road projects at Tuesday’s (May 10) meeting. Councillor Jason Friesen said he would like to see warning lights at more crosswalks.
“We have a number of crosswalks in the city, especially on busy corridors that have signage but nothing other than that,” said Friesen. “We’re going a great job of sidewalks, but let’s make sure we just go one step further and add some type of warning light for people crossing roads.”
Councillor Rick de Jong questioned staff about a story he saw in the media that sidewalks were costing the city $15 per centimetre to install.
“I came out at closer to $5 versus the $15. Still expensive but $5 dollars is a significant difference.”
Staff noted that it is challenging to put a dollar figure on the issue, as it depends on whether it’s a new project and what infrastructure might already be in place.
“I guess the key point to realize is it’s not just the concrete or pavement you’re walking on, it’s the infrastructure in and around it,” added de Jong.
De Jong also noted that PIP funding has been at $1.2 million for several years, and perhaps council should review it.
“I would suggest that come fall budget discussion that council decides whether to leave it at that amount or if it’s time for an increase.”
Councillor Doug Findlater asked what work may be done this year at the Old Okanagan Highway/Butt Road intersection, which is a shared responsibility with the Westbank First Nation. Staff told council there is budget this year for design and minor upgrades. The long-term plan for the intersection may include new turning lanes or a roundabout.
The city’s roads priority list includes the intersection of Gossett Road and Old Okanagan Highway, identified by ICBC with the second-highest intersection-related injuries and collision costs in West Kelowna.