Just because Bike to Work Week is over does not mean that we have forgotten about cyclists and other types of traffic in our transit planning. Our dedication to highway safety is not limited to motorists. Cyclists and pedestrians are high on our list of important people to please.
Cyclists commuting to UBC in Kelowna will soon have safer access to their campus on a new multi-use pathway and bridge. Route enhancements will be jointly funded by the Province of B.C., the City of Kelowna and UBC, with the province contributing up to $1.55 million toward the design and construction of the pathway and bridge. The balance of funding will come from the City of Kelowna and the University of British Columbia Okanagan , who will maintain the completed work. The new pathway and bridge will be completed next year.
Until construction is complete, cyclists can continue to use Highway 97 across the Ellison overhead to reach the campus. To make that commute safer, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has adjusted the cycling route along this part of Highway 97 and installed a speed reader board on the highway near the overhead to remind drivers to obey the posted speed limit.
This September, a new cyclist-activated warning sign will be installed on the northbound shoulder at the bridge. The sign will alert drivers to the presence of cyclists on the bridge’s narrow shoulder. The sign, acquired from Europe and adapted for use in Canada, is 100 per cent solar-powered. UBC’s School of Engineering has also been engaged to study the effect of this new sign on highway drivers and cyclists. Check back for details on the outcome of that report, we are just as interested in the outcome as you and will be sure to keep you posted.
Because cycling to UBCO is a part of daily life for many people in the area, and this is the main cycling route to get to campus, these improvements are vital to the community of Kelowna. We are excited to be a part of this project and look forward to continuing to expand cyclist routes across the province.