March 18, 2013 - 11:23 AM
By Julie Whittet
The City of Kelowna is asking for public feedback on the amount of truck traffic passing through Ellis street. As the downtown core expands with new commercial and residential developments, the city intends to re-direct industrial traffic headed for the North-end.
A notice released by the city this week says the amount of large trucks navigating through areas of concentrated pedestrian traffic is becoming an issue. Brian Oliveira, city traffic engineering techinician, says pedestrian safety is a growing concern. The noise of heavy industrial traffic is also an issue for nearby buildings and businesses in the area. “You don't want trucks idling. It creates a lot of noise when they stop and go,” Oliveira says.
In 1999 the city terminated the truck route along Water Street, re-directing the traffic to Ellis street. Ellis accommodates only two lanes of traffic in opposite directions, and has many pedestrian crossings.
Oliveira says if the truck route closes, “we would rely on existing routes.”
“The existing traffic plan should be able to service the North-end industrial zone,” says Oliveira. In 2007, the city extended Clement Avenue from Gordon Drive to Spall Road to create more capacity. Since that extension, the city has found truck traffic is down 67% from 2007 records.
Gordon Drive, which currently serves as a 24/7 truck route, would absorb some of the traffic if the Ellis truck route closes. A new left turn lane would be added to Highway 97 at the Gordon intersection.
The city recently sent out a notice to residents along Gordon Drive, asking for their input on the proposed changes.
Mayor Walter Gray also expressed interest in building a second bridge over Okanagan Lake in this State of the City address last February. The second crossing would function as a highway to help divert some of the city's vehicle traffic from the Bennett Bridge.
If you have thoughts on the proposed closure of the Ellis Street truck route, and would like them to be included in the city agenda, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org or mail, by April 14th.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at email@example.com or call (250) 718-0428.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013