To the editor:
The City of Kelowna will soon be finalizing the Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan. As a pedestrian, a cyclist, a motorist, a parent, an environmental professional and a neighbour, I applaud these efforts.
However, I am shocked and dismayed that the 4700 block of Gordon Drive has been completely ignored in this process. This section of roadway was once a rural dead-end road and now serves as one of two arterial roadways to access to the Upper Mission with over 1,500 homes. The 4700 block is at the bottom of a steep hill and traffic often exceeds the posted limit of 50 km/h.
Neighbours and business owners have been pursuing traffic calming and pedestrian facilities along this stretch for several years. The City of Kelowna has indicated that there will be no improvements for the next 16 years, unless residents along this stretch pay for it themselves.
Meanwhile, small children crossing the road from the local preschool with their even smaller siblings and caregivers must cross illegally, unsafely, and unseen from the north side of the street.
Neighbours out for a stroll must step onto the roadway just to check if it is safe to cross. Cyclists must jam on their brakes or swerve into the vehicle lane to avoid pedestrians not seen until the last second.
This section of roadway is unsafe for anyone travelling it. Even if you are a motorist, you are at risk of a pedestrian or cyclist suddenly appearing in your lane without enough warning for you to stop.
I urge residents and neighbours to tell the City of Kelowna that this unsafe roadway needs to be addressed. Please sign the petition at www.change.org/p/city-of-kelowna-make-gordon-drive-walk-safe or email the mayor and council directly with your opinion.
Trudi Trask, Kelowna