Nearly three months later than originally scheduled, the new Casorso Road bike lane has opened in Kelowna.
The new pathway connects with the existing Ethel corridor and creates protected bike routes from downtown to Lower Mission and the Mission Creek greenway.
The final phase of the project, the connection between K.L.O Road and Barrera Road was completed in late November. Originally the city was hoping to wrap up work in mid-September.
“The completion of the Casorso Active Transportation Corridor is an important step in creating safer, more comfortable, routes throughout the City for people who bike, walk, or roll,” said Mayor Dyas. “Kelowna is growing, and our transportation needs are evolving. Investing in active transportation allows us to encourage more sustainable trips to move around our city.”
The $4.4 million project was partially funded through a $500,000 grant from British Columbia Active Transportation Infrastructure and $2,190,400 from the Canada Community-Building Fund.
Despite some initial complaints from users about the design and function of the pathway, the city says it worked closely with residents and community groups.
“We collected feedback from community members, including school administration, the parent association, and local groups like cycling associations and used it to help shape and refine the overall design to ensure it meets the needs of the community,” notes Chad Williams, senior transportation engineer.
The Casorso bike lane also underwent a road safety audit conducted by ICBC. The findings and recommendations of the audit were incorporated to enhance safety and accessibility.
Expansion of the bike lane network was identified in the the City of Kelowna’s 2040 Master Transportation Plan and Official Community Plan as a way to take action on climate change by reducing Kelowna’s car dependence.
This year, the city added 1.5 kilometres to the network. It now extents north to UBC Okanagan and the airport, east to Rutland Road, West to Okanagan Lake and south to the H2O Adventure + Fitness Centre.