Council gives driving habit study the gears

Valley-wide travel survey may go unsupported in Vernon

A study into motorists’ habits may have hit a dead end.

The City of Vernon will not seek Regional District of North Okanagan funds for a valley travel survey, and it hasn’t been decided if the city will even participate.

“I don’t see the value of the survey at this time,” said Coun. Bob Spiers.

In 2007, the city spent $60,000 to canvass north and central Okanagan residents on mobility patterns while Kelowna provided $120,000.

Kelowna wants to proceed with another survey in September to gather updated information. It will be seeking financial assistance from its partners around the Regional District of Central Okanagan board table.

While city staff recommended going to RDNO for funds, Coun. Juliette Cunningham disagreed.

“We have problems getting some of the jurisdictions to cough up $1,500 for transit so it’s not realistic,” she said.

A firm cost for a 2012 study has not been determined and even if RDNO participated, the city would pick up 68 per cent of the grant.

It’s not known when, or if, the city will consider  taking part in the study on its own.

“Has there been a lot of changes in traffic in five years? There hasn’t been a lot of growth,” said Coun. Catherine Lord.

Cunningham doesn’t believe the study would be a good investment.

“We don’t need to spend $60,000 to have people tell us they want more transit,” she said.

But others support gathering public opinion.

“Information on travel is important for our (official community) plan,” said Coun. Mary-Jo O’Keefe.

“When we discuss extending transit, we need good information on where people are coming from.”