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Harvey Bottleneck

To the editor:

Its obvious that a new bridge is required but what is also needed is a bypass through the downtown area, something along the base of Dilworth Mountain up to Enterprise where it connects to Highway 97 north of the Downtown.

The big problem with that would be a new road cutting north through the City Park area to get up to the northside. Vancouver had to build such a waterfront access road around the downtown area and in spite of the obvious drawback of some spoiled views, it works well. As a newcomer to the area, I don't see a lot of folks using the park and beach that would be inconvenienced by such a road.

The park area would still be there much as it is today while the 'beach' may not. It doesn't appear that the park is much of a jewel in the downtown area anyway. On an average day, the park users seem mainly comprised of the homeless sitting around in groups drinking out of communal wine bottles, transients taking a break from their daily diligent job searches sleeping on the grass, and "squeegee boys" taking a rest break from their "servicing" of vehicles PARKED on the Harvey access road to the bridge.

The current plan to dump the free flowing bridge traffic onto clogged Harvey
will just move the bottleneck somewhat as three free flowing lanes are ample to empty the downtown area of traffic. It's the series of traffic lights along Harvey that causes the backup. We just returned from a trip in the US and drove through Bend, Oregon. That city's traffic problem was identical to that of Kelowna - a long strip with one major road leading north-south thru the City. In fact, it IS our Highway 97! Their effective plan should be investigated by Provincial highways and Kelowna city staff.

It used to take a good half an hour, especially during tourist season (sound
familiar?) to drive through the seemingly endless string of traffic lights
every few blocks and bumper to bumper traffic to get from one end of town
to the other.

Last week, I was pleased to find they have now finished a bypass through the
entire downtown area which here would be the equivalent of the distance from
the bridge to Enterprise (the area behind Home Depot/Wal-Mart). Many cross
streets have had their access cut and some of the major cross streets are
now grade separated. It now takes only 5-10 minutes to bypass the congested
section of their "downtown" and go from Highway to Highway.

I know the prospect of doing that here would raise an outcry but "You're
either going to MOVE TRAFFIC - or you're NOT.

The Harvey bottleneck will just continue to get longer and slower, new bridge or not, until at least half of the intersections/traffic lights get
removed or a bypass is built. This is a simple fact.

And to the planners and builders in their efforts..Good Luck !

A.S.

Posted:
Story# 8502 / 


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