City of Kelowna staff are recommending three-laning a section of Lakeshore Road between Richter Street and Barnaby Road, as this view shows just north of Lexington Drive. The first phase of the project would take place over the next two years.
The improvement of other roads connecting the Mission to central Kelowna will draw many future commuters away from Lakeshore, city staff predict.
As a result, they recommend that Lakeshore between Richter Street and Barnaby Road eventually be widened to three rather than four lanes. Two lanes would be for through traffic, with a dual-purpose centre lane for left turns.
"Lakeshore Road is a key connector between the South-West Mission and destinations north including the South Pandosy town centre, Kelowna General Hospital, downtown Kelowna, Highway 97 and West Kelowna," infrastructure director Randy Cleveland wrote in a report to council.
However, it is suggested that widening the current two-lane profile of Lakeshore Road to four lanes would not be a desirable goal for a number of reasons. One consideration would be the extra cost, and another is that a too-wide road would detract from Lakeshore's "resort character" along some popular beaches and waterside parks.
However, Cleveland also warns that widening Lakeshore to four lanes could backfire, in that it would draw more drivers to the road.
(We) should not increase capacity and efficiency of Lakeshore to the point where traffic is drawn to it from other routes," he said.
The first phase of the three-laning of Lakeshore, from Richter Street to Lexington Drive, will be undertaken in the next two years, subject to council approving the funding.
Other improvements to roads in the Mission area planned over the next two decades include an extension of Gordon Drive, the future South Perimeter Road, upgrades to DeHart Road and a realignment of Stewart Road.