After a review of heavy truck traffic in West Kelowna, city staff are recommending seven roads through residential areas become truck routes during the day, and three more be designated for truck traffic both night and day.
A proposed new bylaw, which was to go to council for consideration Tuesday, calls for the use of the following roads to be designated truck routes between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m.:
• Glenrosa Road between Highway 97 and City of West Kelowna border
• Gellatly Road South between Highway 97 and Gellatly Road
• Gellatly Road between Highway 97 and Boucherie Road
• Boucherie Road between Hudson Road and WFN reserve No. 9 border
• Hudson Road between Boucherie Road and Highway 97
• Shannon Lake Road between Bartley Road and WFN reserve No. 9 border
• Old Okanagan Road between HWY 97 and WFN reserve No. 9 border
In addition, the following three roads would be open to truck traffic 24 hours a day
• Westlake Road between Highway 97 and Stevens Road
• Stevens Road between Westlake Road and Bartley Road
• Bartley Road between Highway 97 and Stevens Road
“It is common for municipalities to regulate the movement of commercial trucks operating under their jurisdiction by means of legislation,” says the staff report presented to council. “By defining truck routes within a municipality, commercial truck traffic can be diverted away from residential areas where there may be inadequate infrastructure to support this kind of vehicle movement.”
Staff say some of the benefits that may be realized by designating the roads as truck routes include increased pedestrian and vehicle safety in residential areas, the reduction in traffic-related noise in residential areas, improved urban environments for pedestrians and cyclists and the increased lifespan of road and structures not designed to accommodate heavy truck traffic.
Two years ago, city council directed staff to look at heavy truck traffic on Gellatley Road. Since then, a review of the issue across the city was done and it determined the new routes are best for the efficient and safe movement of trucks and other traffic, as well as minimizing disruption to the the public and easing pressure on infrastructure.
Staff say designating the new routes will cut down on what it says is “shortcutting” via other routes, something the city has identified as a problem.
In the bylaw, a truck is defined as a vehicle with a gross weight in excess of 13,700 kilograms. That include tractor-trailers, single-unit dump trucks and concrete mixer trucks.
Public transit, emergency and school vehicles, as well as vehicles operating for, or on behalf of, the city would be exempt from the the bylaw.