The planned development of 200 more houses in a Lakeview Heights neighbourhood in West Kelowna has reignited a longstanding concern of residents on two nearby streets about the possibility of opening up their roads to more traffic.
The residents, living on Menu and McCallum Roads, do not want to see the barriers that were put up years ago to restrict traffic on the partially narrow and winding roads, removed.
And they say it would will require millions of dollars to improve the roads to a standard that could safely handle more traffic.
In a news release issued by the the Lakeview Height Residents’ Association, Mike Wilding says says Menu Road has changed several times over the years.
“So the road is a patchwork of construction built to support light local traffic,” he says.
The issue of opening up Menu and McCallum Roads came up as part of the discussion last month on the expansion of development in the Vineyard Estates/Mission Hill area, which the city says needs more than just one entrance and exit for safety.
Wilding said there are already three roads in and out of Vineyard Estates, and a traffic impact analysis was wrong to recommend the barriers be removed to provide alternative access.
According to city spokeswoman Kristen Jones, as a result of the residents’ concerns, and issues raised by some members of council, council has had the issue of the future of Menu and McCallum roads separated from the Vineyard Estates development plans and has ordered a report from staff on the future the roads.
Jones said she expects council will seek public consultation on that issue at a later date.
Despite that, however, Menu and McCallum residents have vowed to show up en masse at city hall on Tuesday when the Vineyard Estates/Mission Hill proposal goes to public hearing.
According to Jones, the issues of the future of Menu and McCallum Roads will not be part of the public hearing slated for Tuesday.
But that does not appear to be deterring the residents.
“City of West Kelowna councillors felt the introduction of the barricades was a political decision,” said Wilding in the LHRA news release. “Not all decisions made by politicians are politically motivated.”
He said back in 2004 when the road situation was looked at, it was decided that it would be dangerous to convert “a quiet backwater cul-de-sac,” not designed for heavy traffic into a Boucherie Road-like arterial road.