Kelowna pedestrian and cycle plan open houses scheduled

City looking for the public's input on its ambitious and expensive plan to add more bike lanes over the next 15 years.

The City of Kelowna wants to know what its residents think about an ambitious plan to add hundreds of kilometres of bike paths, bike lanes, sidewalks and walking paths and trails to the city over the next 15 years.

But the additions will come with a hefty cost – an estimated $267 million.

While the city is currently putting money aside for the program, staff have warned at the current level of funding, the city will only have about $90 million of the total needed to fund the entire plan.

Mayor Colin Basran has said he hopes the secure federal infrastructure money to help pay for at least part of the shortfall.

The pedestrian and cycling master plan, presented council earlier this week, will be the subject of two open houses the city is planning for later this month and at the beginning of February.

“Aspiring to be a community that is compact and walkable is our priority, where the natural environment is protected and where walking paths and cycling routes connect destinations throughout the city,” said Moudud Hasan, transportation and mobility manager ina news release announcing the open houses.

“This plan identifies infrastructure, bylaw and policy measures to promote increased walking and cycling in Kelowna in a safe manner.”

The city has a stated goal of wanting 25 per cent of all trips of less than five kilometres to be made by walking or cycling by the 2035. Currently an estimated 11 per cent of trips less than five kilometres are made by those two methods of transportation.

City residents are being invited to review the plan and what the city is calling its active transportation network, as well as steps for its implementation and give feedback at the open houses.

City staff will be on hand to answer questions regarding the plan.

The open houses are scheduled for:

• Saturday Jan. 30 from 9 a.m. to noon in the Parkinson Recreation Centre foyer.

• Thursday Feb. 4 from 4 p.m.  to 6:30 p.m. at the Okanagan College Student Services Building at the OC campus on KLO Road.

Online input can also be given via the city’s website at kelowna.ca/onthemove. That input will be accepted up to Feb. 7.

The pedestrian and cycling master plan will go to council for adoption in the spring.