June 03, 2015 - 6:26 PM
KELOWNA - A determined cycist could cover the first phase of the Ethel Street active transportation corridor in about two minutes but the construction of a new cycle track between Bernard Avenue and Saucier Avenue will be welcomed by local cyclists.
Construction on the corridor begins this month and will continue in phases until 2020 when it is expected to stretch from Clement Avenue in the north to Raymer Avenue in the South.
While the city already has an extensive cycling network, the Ethel Street corridor marks the introduction of the 'cycle track' — dedicated bike lanes separated from pedestrian and vehicle traffic on both sides of the street.
The first phase is valued at $1.7 million while the price tag for the entire corridor is valued at $12 million, assuming council approves each phase over the next five years.
The concept is not new, European cities have been constructing cycle tracks for decades, however car-centric North American cities have been a lot slower to embrace them. The lack of grade-separated cycling paths are considered the biggest hurdle in getting recreational and commuter cyclists to use the bike network.
Construction will also include revamped sidewalks, landscaping, trees and traffic calming measures along the route.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015