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West Kelowna Council Sends Active Transportation Proposal Back To City Staff For Alternative Design

Updated: Sep 29, 2023

At the regular West Kelowna City Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 26th, City staff presented an active transportation design proposal for the section of Shannon Lake Road between the WFN boundary (south) and the Shannon Lake Regional Park (north).

The active transportation design proposal included unprotected bike lanes, sidewalks on some sections of the road, streetlights on one side of the road and addition of pedestrian activated crosswalks at Swite Road.

Council members expressed several concerns with the proposed design. Some of the West Kelowna city council concerns with the proposed project included:

  • Lack of sidewalks on both sides in several sections. (Sidewalks to nowhere)

  • Parking on an arterial road (Impediment to the flow of traffic and safety issues)

  • The omission of an Asquith/Shannon Lake Road roundabout (dig once)

When questioned, Stantec engineering consultant Jordan Peterson acknowledged several challenges with the proposed design. Parking near the regional park is on the opposite side of road. Peterson stated, "They (residents) will probably park on the park side of the road anyhow". Peterson also identified vehicle/cyclist conflicts at the right-turn lane / cycle lane at Shannon Way (Neighbour’s) and certain sections where cyclists would need to navigate a paved shoulder.

The proposal, as presented to city council, emphasized:

  • Tying new facilities in with existing facility.

  • Reducing maintenance for city staff

  • ICBC analytics, crash data and recommendations

  • The cost reduction of proposed project

West Kelowna residents were not consulted in the proposed design.

Safety along Shannon Lake Road has been a long-time concern of residents. A SLNA survey of Shannon Lake residents was conducted in February 2023. Results of the survey showed 92% of residents agreed or strongly agreed that improvements are needed with safety being the biggest issue.

Several council members suggested building more user-friendly multi-use pathways to better serve the needs of the community now and in the future. Councillor Garrett Milsap commented, “Safety should be a priority” while Councillor Stephen Johnston felt “multi-use pathways could be accommodated within existing right of way by reconfiguring the design. Moving to multi-use pathways would result in reduced exposure of pedestrians at crosswalks as well as reduction of speeds along Shannon Lake Road.” All council acknowledged that improvements to Shannon Lake Road are needed.

West Kelowna council asked city staff to revisit the design. City of West Kelowna CAO, Paul Gipps, agreed to take council's comments back to staff. Gipps indicated the 2024 city budget and grant applications were not due until mid-October.

The SLNA has sent a letter to city council and staff asking the city to adhere to BC-Active Transportation Design Guidelines thus ensuring a safer, more connected neighbourhood.

The complete Shannon Lake Road Active Transportation Design Proposal can be found on the City of West Kelowna website (Starting on page 299) while the archived webcast of the September 26th council meeting can be viewed here. (Starting at 2:07:00 of video )



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