Letter: City in the process of building cycling connections to UBCO

The city is preparing to begin construction of a cycling path under the Highway 97…and from Glenmore along John Hindle Drive.

To the editor:

This is in response to Neil Cadger’s May 25 letter, “Kelowna Does Not Support Cycling To Work Or Anywhere Else.”

Mr. Cadger might have missed the news that the city is preparing to begin construction of a path under the Highway 97 overpass this summer that will give cyclists a safer route to UBCO.

Another safe path to UBCO from Glenmore will be under construction this year, with John Hindle Drive providing another bike path separated from the road.

While these works have not progressed at a speed satisfactory to Mr. Cadger, the fact is Kelowna already has the most extensive bicycle network in Canada for a city its size. Statistics Canada says Kelowna has, per capita, the second-highest commuter cycling population in the country.

We believe this high participation level is helped by the more than 300 kilometres of marked on-street bicycle lanes and more than 35 kilometres of multi-use pathways the city has constructed over the past 20 years.

The city’s new Cycling Master Plan was developed with input from the public and outlines an All Ages and Abilities (AAA) primary network. The AAA network consists of existing and future separated bicycle facilities on key corridors that are being connected over time. This network allows people to avoid on-street riding for many trips.

The network continues to grow and improve with the addition of new cycling infrastructure such as wider on-street bike lanes, multi-use paths and, separated bikeways on streets such as Clifton, Cawston, Gordon, Barrera, Sutherland, Ethel and Lakeshore.

 

We are also adding to our Rails With Trails infrastructure and are excited about developing a world-class facility with the acquisition of the old CN Rail line connecting Kelowna to Coldstream – a $22-million investment in non-motorized transportation options by the partnership of local municipalities and provincial government.

Highway 97 is a provincial road and the widening work referred to in Mr. Cadger’s letter is being done by the Ministry of Transportation Infrastructure. The City of Kelowna, meanwhile, will continue to expand its extensive off-road bicycle path network.

Doug Gilchrist,

divisional director, community planning & real estate,

City of Kelowna

 

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