A new comprehensive transportation strategy for the Central Okanagan between Lake Country and Peachland examines a range of projects that will help connect people with their communities, promote affordability, support the economy and the movement of goods, and create a cleaner environment.
The Central Okanagan Integrated Transportation Strategy (CO-ITS) prioritizes transportation improvement ideas for British Columbia’s third-largest urban area.
“This exciting vision for the future of transportation in the Central Okanagan is the result of extensive collaboration with local governments and First Nations,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “It provides a clear path forward for the Province and communities to work together to make good land-use decisions, improve roads, enhance public transit, promote active transportation and support a healthier environment.”
The strategy brings together learnings gained from previous studies conducted by partners in the region and supports a focus on integrated land use including creating hubs for employment, shopping, recreation and housing. Higher-density and mixed-use development near public transit will help make communities more livable, support transit ridership and reduce the impact of cars.
“The City of Kelowna looks forward to working with the Province to advance priority projects identified in the plan,” said Tom Dyas, mayor City of Kelowna. “As the fastest growing region in the province, we are eager for the Province to implement improvements and collaborate on operations to make it easier for residents to move throughout the community and region and drive our economy forward.”
CO-ITS recognizes Highway 97 as the heart of the area’s transportation network, connecting 10 urban centres and providing vital links to the Lower Mainland and Alberta. The strategy recommends development of several priority projects for Highway 97, including:
- intersection improvements in Peachland;
- removal of the Highway 97 Couplet in West Kelowna;
- completion of the Boucherie Road and Westlake Road interchanges;
- extension of Clement Avenue in Kelowna; and
- improvements to the Commonwealth Road and Glenmore\Beaver Lake corridor in Lake Country.
CO-ITS recognizes that improving the Central Okanagan’s transit is key to reducing greenhouse-gas emissions and creating more livable communities. The strategy identifies several priority transit projects, including route enhancements, regional mobility hubs, and improvements such as dedicated transit-only lanes.
The strategy also explores ways to improve capacity on the W.R. Bennett Bridge including adding an additional eastbound lane that can support higher-capacity vehicle trips and transit.
For information about the Central Okanagan Integrated Transportation Strategy and a link to the report, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/transportation-reports-and-reference/reports-studies/okanagan/central-okanagan-integrated-transportation-strategy