Council approves pedestrian improvements

A dangerous situation in Okanagan Landing is being bumped up the priority list.

Vernon council has approved $35,000 in pedestrian improvements at Okanagan Landing and Myriad roads in 2013. Staff had recommended  a $115,000 project in 2016.

“It’s a safety concern for the citizens there,” said Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe of expediting the timeline.

“More people are trying to be active whether it’s walking or biking.”

The city recently received a 118-name petition demanding a pedestrian bridge across the creek.

Presently to head east into Vernon, people must jaywalk across Okanagan Landing Road before the creek and then go on to the crosswalk to get on to a walking path.

Concrete barriers make the road too narrow to walk beside.

As part of the $35,000 project, the concrete barriers will be moved closer to the road and the right-of-way will be widened for pedestrian use.

The speed limit on that section of Okanagan Landing Road will be reduced from 70 to 50 kilometres an hour.

No sidewalks, which were part of the $115,000 option, will be installed, but they could be considered in the future.

Insurance Corporation of B.C. statistics show only three claim accidents in that area in five years, with city staff saying they were rear-end crashes related to vehicle speed and not the crosswalk.

A pedestrian died after being struck by a vehicle there in December. An accident cause has not been released yet.

“The people who live there believe it (fatal) was a result of the design,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

Staff had recommended the $115,000 project not proceed until 2016 because of other demands in Vernon for sidewalks and pedestrian paths.



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