Kelowna residents don’t like traffic congestion but are conflicted about what to do about it | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna residents don’t like traffic congestion but are conflicted about what to do about it

There is too much traffic congestion in Kelowna but a survey shows people can't agree on what to do about it.
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February 06, 2020 - 5:00 PM

Getting around Kelowna was the second biggest issue identified in last year’s Citizen’s Survey.

So the city commissioned another phone survey of 300 residents last fall to try to get a handle on how to deal with those concerns. It seems, there’s no clear consensus on whether they'd prefer to leave cars at home or pay to build more roads to address the issue.

“Over half (56 per cent) of residents agree that reducing dependence on cars could be a long-term solution to traffic congestion,” a report by the Leger group going to city council on Monday states. “Wanting to walk, bike, or take transit more than they currently do has the next highest agreement (54 per cent strongly/somewhat agree) that this is a means of reducing congestion. Yet half (51 per cent) feel that building more roads is the long-term solution for traffic congestion.”

Seventy-five per cent of respondents identified themselves primarily as drivers with only 10 per cent relying on transit.

People said transit was not as convenient as other options and many were not interested or physically able to use alternatives like bicycles or scooters.

While there was strong support (74 per cent) for the city spending more on alternatives to driving like transit or cycling, only 44 per cent would be willing to pay more in taxes for transportation improvements.

“Endeavour to offer more viable transportation options as alternatives to driving,” the report states in its Implications and Recommendations section. “This could include walking/cycling paths or additional transit routes and bus frequencies so they are more easily accessible as convenience is a main factor in adoption of alternative modes of transport.”

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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