The telephone poles in the middle of the new sidewalks being built alongside the new Boucherie Road in West Kelowna. —Image: contributed

Telephone poles in centre of sidewalk angers West Kelowna watchdog

Audience Group calls placement of poles in new Boucherie Road upgrade project ‘idiocy’

A group that considers itself a public watchdog of the West Kelowna city council is criticizing the city for building the second phase of the Boucherie Road improvement with telephone poles that are located in the middle of the sidewalk.

The Audience Group says the new road is too narrow and feels restricted and points to new bike lanes it predicts only a few people will use.

But it what it has really zoomed in on is the placement of the poles.

“Don’t forget to try out our very friendly brand new sidewalks with their adorable telephone poles in the middle (the blind and wheelchair bound need not try out our new sidewalks for fear of injury and law suit),” says a the group sarcastically in news release.

RELATED: Boucherie Road construction causes new detour on Westside

The group criticizes the city for what is clearly a planning mistake, saying city council did not learn from missteps made when it rebuilt another stretch of the road a few years ago, allowing a centre boulevard that created a roadways considered too narrow on each side.

Council specifically told its consultant working on the second phase of the project it did not want a boulevard included this time.

The second phase is costing $8.7 million for the 1.3 kilometres of road in Lakeview Heights and a new water main underneath it.

“The city paid out approximately $300,000 to a consultant to design this painful example of idiocy,” says the group.

“Whoever designed this should be banned from ever planning any city project again—or, at the very least, be made to pay for the relocation of the telephone poles.

For its part, the city acknowledges a mistake with the placement of the poles in the sidewalk was made but says it was noticed too late.

When the design wasapproved it says nothing was seen to indicate where they would be located.

The city now say Telus has agreed to move five of the poles and the remaining four will have the sidewalk around them realigned at an estimated cost of $8,000.

The group also does not like the placement and cost of two traffic roundabouts that are part of the project and says they are not centred and could cause traffic problems in future.

Boucherie Road is part of the city’s tourist “Wine Trail” route.

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