New regional plan sets guiding framework for transportation investments over next 20 years
With the final endorsement of the Regional Transportation Plan on Dec. 8, Central Okanagan governments now have a framework of regional priorities to guide transportation investments over the next 20 years. The plan has now been reviewed and endorsed by all six members of the Sustainable Transportation Partnership of the Central Okanagan (STPCO), including the City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, City of Kelowna, Westbank First Nation, and the Regional District of Central Okanagan.
The plan was developed following more than two years of technical studies, public consultation and unprecedented region-wide collaboration across multiple levels of government. It sets the direction for Central Okanagan governments to work together to move people and goods more efficiently, achieve fast and reliable transit, create a safe and convenient regional bicycling and trails network, and incorporate new mobility options. Moving forward, the Regional Transportation Plan will help Central Okanagan governments work together to seek funding for and implement transportation investments that benefit the entire region.
Some key recommendations include creating a fast and reliable transit spine along the Highway 97 corridor, adding 81 new kilometres of regional bicycling and trails facilities, and improving connectivity to regional destinations such as UBC Okanagan and the Kelowna International Airport. Opportunities for engagement occurred through each step of the plan’s development, with three region-wide public consultations helping to shape the plan’s vision and goals, identify potential projects, and refine the draft plan.
“Recommendations in the plan reflect the interests and values heard from people across the region, from Peachland to Lake Country, and will help build and maintain a healthy, thriving and connected future for the Central Okanagan.” said Rafael Villareal, Administrator of the STPCO. “We thank the many individuals and organizations that have been involved in helping create a robust transportation plan for our region.”
The Regional Transportation Plan aligns with the strategic direction of Provincial plans, including Clean BC and the BC Economic Framework. Together, the interconnected projects, programs, and policy recommendations in the plan will work together to prepare for future population growth, reduce future greenhouse gas emissions, help people of all ages and abilities get around, and help economic recovery post COVID-19.
To learn more and view the final Regional Transportation Plan and its supporting plans, including the Regional Bicycling and Trails Plan and Regional Disruptive Mobility Strategy, please visit smartTRIPS.ca.