Kelowna has developed a “car-centric” culture says city hall. —Image: Capital News file

Shocking statistics show just how car-centric Kelowna has become

Motorists drive equivalent of to the moon and back twice each day and park 340,000 times

The only way to alleviate traffic congestion on Kelowna roads is to provide more transportation options, says city staff.

City council was told Monday that simply building more roads and widening existing ones will only increase traffic and, while it may help in the short-term, in the long run it will put the city right back where it is today.

“If we build a lot of roads to build more capacity we will attract more traffic, and that’ll make the very neighbourhoods that have the best chance of shifting travel to more sustainable modes, less pleasant places to do business and live in,” transportation engineer Gordon Foy told council.

“Giving people more convenient choices to get around is the only way to solve congestion.”

According to a national transportation organization, Kelowna residents own more vehicles per capita than residents in any other city in the country. And they use those vehicles—a lot.

It is estimated that motorists in the city collectively drive a total distance equivalent of travelling to the moon and back twice each week day, said Foy. And, in doing so, they collectively use parking spaces a total of 340,000 times each day as well.

But, likely the most mind-boggling statistic in Foy’s presentation to council Monday was the cost of widening a major road in the city.

Based on the $67 million cost the province is paying to widen a 4.5 kilometre stretch of Highway 97 north of the city, the estimated cost to widen a major city thoroughfare is now $26 million per kilometre when every aspect of the project is included.

Kelowna currently spends about $40 million per year on all transportation related issues combined, with just over half of that allocated for maintaining the existing road network and building new roads.

On Monday, council approved 12 goals for its new Transportation Master Plan, a plan it hopes will help alleviate traffic congestion over the next 20 years.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@KelownaCapNews
newstips@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

Mistake-riddled offence leads to first loss for Okanagan Sun

The Sun lost to the Westshore Rebels 16-13

Fire departments extinguish suspicious wildfire near West Kelowna

Crews established a fire guard and knocked down the blaze before it grew to one hectare.

15-year-old boy drowns after midnight jump into Okangan Lake

The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the drowning.

Letter: LGBTQ2 are part of ‘our’ Canada

“It is all of our taxes that pay for all of us.”

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Most Read