Moving trucks off Ellis Street?

The days of large trucks rumbling down Ellis Street in downtown Kelowna may be drawing to a close.

Ellis has traditionally served as an important truck route between the north end and the William R. Bennett Bridge, however, in 2010, council amended hours of operation along the truck route from 24 hours to 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Currently, an average of about 400 heavy trucks utilize Ellis during the 12 hour block.

As the downtown core continues to develop and the residential population and pedestrian traffic increases, the city believes a truck route will conflict with the 'changing urban land use.'

Council will review a report from the Transportation and Mobility Engineering Traffic Technician Monday on the potential of moving the truck route from Ellis Street to Gordon Drive.

While any change to the truck route would have to be agreed to by the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure discussions between the city and the province have been going on.

Staff are asking that those talks be allowed to continue.

In order to re-route all truck traffic to Gordon Drive, staff say an advance northbound left turn arrow would have to be installed at the intersection with Harvey Avenue.

The MoTI would have to agree to the turn light.

Meantime, some businesses in the north end stated in a report back in 2009 that re-routing heavy truck traffic from Ellis to Gordon would, add additional cost and travel time.

A study conducted by Boulevard Transportation Group in 2009 stated the change would add approximately five minutes of travel time and $3.91 in operating costs per truck per direction.

Based on current volumes that would amount to approximately $600,000 per year distributed across north end businesses.

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