Failing to follow directions means more Kelowna streets will be closed for repaving - InfoNews

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Failing to follow directions means more Kelowna streets will be closed for repaving

Clifton Road is still open for repaving but other Kelowna streets will be closing if drivers refuse to follow detour signs.
May 22, 2019 - 2:17 PM

KELOWNA - When the City of Kelowna started its annual repaving program a couple of weeks ago, it planned to do everything possible to keep roads open and traffic flowing.

But the growing refusal of drivers to follow directions and take detours has forced the closure of High Road tomorrow, May 23, and Friday with other streets likely to follow.

“The common denominator in all these projects is that people just get set on one direction or one means to go from A to B and they don’t think about the other options available to them,” Bruce Dacre, the city’s pavement manager, told today.

For the past two weeks the city has been ripping up and getting set to repave High Road and parts of Clifton, Valley and Summit roads.

The plan was to get as many drivers possible to avoid High Road while that work was being done, but people refused to detour around it, creating gridlock, so the road will be closed for paving for two days, except for local traffic that will only be able to drive east.

“Otherwise, if we don’t close it, there’s frustration and you get unsafe driving habits,” Dacre said. “We’ve got personnel on the road and it’s their safety we’re concerned about too.

“People just accelerate through zones and go the wrong way. We’ve got lots of signage up and they’re still going the wrong way. Or they just get frustrated and get impatient and honk at the flaggers. It’s really, really, really bad. It’s to the point now, we will be closing more roads to do this work.”

That work includes 40 lane-kilometres of repaving on some of Kelowna’s major streets and will carry on through to the end of September. It’s rare for such work to be done at night in residential areas because of the volume of noise the work generates.

Dacre could not provide a schedule of work because it’s weather dependant. You can find updates on the city website here.

After 40 years in the business, Dacre is seeing an increase in the number of drivers who won’t follow directions.

“I don’t know why,” he said. “This morning, the superintendent and myself and another were out there and we were all like ‘what in the world could we do differently?'”

Some of the roads to be repaved by the city this year:

  • Gordon Drive from Springfield to KLO
  • Gordon Drive from North of Steel to South of Frost
  • KLO Road from Gordon to Benvoulin
  • Bernard Avenue from Richter to Ethel
  • Gerstmar Road from Highway 33 to Springfield

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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