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Kamloops EV strategy tackles climate issues

January 31, 2020 - 3:02 PM

The City of Kamloops is looking into ways to make the city greener, and it mirrors the efforts in cities in the Okanagan.

Kamloops has just begun looking into creating a climate change strategy, and the process begins alongside a public feedback initiative on electric transportation.

The City sent out a media release about their Electric Vehicle and Electric Bike Strategy, which will help staff understand what is needed to help create the transition to electricity-powered transportation.

“Embracing (electric vehicles) and e-bikes in our community is a crucial step in lowering our emissions,” said Glen Cheetham, the City’s sustainability services supervisor in the release. “We want to engage the community and, based on feedback, determine how the City can best support (electric vehicles) and e-bikes in Kamloops.”

The City is welcoming feedback from residents on the LetsTalk Kamloops web page until Feb. 28, and hopes to get a feel for the level of interest and will determine the support for various implementation strategies.

Kamloops’s focus on zero-emission transportation is being made to support the provincial commitment to implement electric vehicles. On Jan. 17, the provincial government asked for municipalities to propose ideas for pilot projects that would encourage the use of electric transportation.

Across the province, cities are looking towards a future with fewer emissions from transportation.

In Kelowna, electric scooters are taking the spotlight and may be permitted on city streets rather than just pathways. In Penticton, the city council just heard recommendations from their $75,000 study which suggested more rooftop solar panels and reducing the amount of energy used from FortisBC during peak hours, suggesting battery or diesel as an alternative.

As for Kamloops, the process of looking into how to make the city greener is about to begin with the Community Climate Action Plan.

“We have a fairly comprehensive plan and document that we’re going to be working on this whole year and we anticipate it’ll probably take most of the year to complete,” says Marvin Kwiatkowski, the City’s development, engineering and sustainability director.

Part of the plan focuses on transportation, but not just electric. Kwiatkowski says the initial document will be brought forward to the Committee of the Whole on March 10 to outline a community engagement strategy and offer background information on the upcoming plan.

“We’re doing quite well in many areas, as far as increased transit usage, as far as densification, building smaller units,” Kwiatkowski says. “I think we’re doing alright, but we’ve got a long way to go.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Wheeler or call (250) 819-6089 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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