Connecting Our Region: residents invited to share feedback on first region-wide transportation plan
Central Okanagan residents are invited to share feedback on the area’s first region-wide transportation plan. Released on June 11, the draft plan follows more than two years of technical studies, consultation, and regional partnership and collaboration.
“We’re asking the public to review and share their thoughts on some of the key components of the draft Regional Transportation Plan,” said Rafael Villareal, Integrated Transportation Department Manager with the City of Kelowna and Administrator of the Sustainable Transportation Partnership of the Central Okanagan (STPCO). “It’s important that we hear from those with diverse interests in regional transportation, and we encourage all Central Okanagan residents to get involved.”
The public has an opportunity to review and provide feedback on the draft plan until Aug. 20 by participating in the Connecting Our Region virtual open house or registering for a Zoom panel discussion at smartTRIPS.ca. Virtual open house participants will have an opportunity to enter a draw for a chance to win a $700 gift card to a local bike shop of their choice.
Engagement activities are available in a digital format in keeping with advice from the Provincial Medical Health Officer regarding COVID-19. Following the engagement period, the plan will be updated and refined, incorporating public feedback, with final versions expected to be presented to each of the STPCO partner Councils and the RDCO Board for endorsement later in 2020.
Called Connecting Our Region, the long-range plan establishes a framework of priorities over the next 20 years that will help Central Okanagan governments work together to:
- connect people and places across the region;
- help people of all ages and abilities get around;
- achieve fast and reliable transit;
- move people and goods more efficiently;
- prepare for future population growth and technology innovations;
- create a safe and convenient region-wide bike and trail network;
- reduce the growth of traffic congestion and greenhouse gases; and
- support the region’s economic recovery post COVID-19.
The Regional Transportation Plan recognizes the urgency of the global climate crisis and provides recommendations that will better connect our region, reduce automobile dependency and help protect the Central Okanagan’s environment and high quality of life for future generations.
“We see a future where bike and trail networks are integrated with transit, urban centres and regional destinations such as hospitals, the airport and universities,” said Villareal. “We want to set a course for a future where people can make sustainable and affordable transportation choices.”
Examples of recommendations in the draft Regional Transportation Plan include expanded transit service and improved transit infrastructure, 81 new kilometres of regional bicycling and trail facilities, a regional goods movement study, roadway safety and efficiency improvements, and mobility hubs in Peachland and Lake Country, among others.
The projects and priorities being recommended in this plan reflect what was heard from people across the region and would require further study and partnership with BC Transit and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
To learn more, participate and share your thoughts on the Regional Transportation Plan, go to smartTRIPS.ca.