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Kelowna  

Unsafe road gets attention

A dangerous and unsafe stretch of Lakeshore Road between DeHart and McClure roads has gained the attention of City Council.

They agreed Monday to spend nearly $700,000 on land acquisition, preliminary and detailed design work for the stretch of road.

Construction would begin next year, pending a successful request for funds during 2015 budget deliberations.

Infrastructure Director John Vos told council Monday that the combination of an elementary school on both sides of Lakeshore at the location, and traffic out of the Upper Mission, has made the roadway 'extremely congested' and unsafe.

"Concerns were raised last year about congestion in this area and safety of children that would like to either walk or cycle to the school," stated Vos.

"We say there are bike paths on the road but many, many sections of sidewalk are missing."

This work was anticipated to take place down the road and is not currently part of the city's 20-year plan.

"Our recommendation today is to proceed with the permanent works," said Vos.

"We did look at temporary solutions but that required construction of sidewalks that ultimately would have to be removed because we don't own the land to put them in the right place. We believe this will address both the pedestrian needs and the cycling needs."

Vos further stated the city will work with School District 23 on the parent drop-off situation at the two schools in order to try and improve traffic flow and reduce congestion.

The estimated cost of the project is $5.18M, however, Vos did state they would try and refine those costs before coming to council in December.

The $700,000 required for design and property acquisition would come from current reserve accounts.

"Although this will impact the time line of other road projects in the area, this is the right thing to do," stated Councillor Colin Basran.

"A few of us have been out to the area and walked it with parents. I think we all agree this is the priority. A temporary solution would not be a good use of funds."

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