Clement

Clement Avenue in downtown Kelowna, a section of which is shown in this file picture being widened last fall, could be extended to Highway 33 under one of the long-range transportation options to be considered by council on Monday.

A long-awaited alternative to Highway 97 through Kelowna could be funded by a 20 per cent boost to the city's transportation budget.

Other projects that could be realized through such an increase include a new pedestrian-and-cycling link between the Rail Trail and the Greenway, and improvements to Lakeshore Road and Glenmore Road.

But increasing annual transportation spending from $48 million currently to $58 million, on its own, would increase property taxes by four per cent and boost fees paid by homebuilders by six per cent.

Three different options for an updating of the city's 20-year transportation plan will be considered by council on Monday.

One choice envisions future transportation funding levels being similar to today with increases only for population growth. A second plan includes population-related increases, plus an additional funding of 20 per cent.

The most ambitious plan includes population-related increases plus a 60 per cent rise in funding, boosting annual transportation funding to $77 million. That plan would trigger a tax hike of 14 per cent and a whopping 90 per cent rise in fees paid to the city by developers.

City planners suggest council endorse the second option. "Scenario 2 does the best job at maximizing benefits while keeping costs reasonable," staff write in a report to council.

The extension of Clement Avenue from downtown Kelowna to Highway 33, and even beyond toward UBCO, has been a city objective for many years. Currently, Clement Avenue ends at Spall Road.

Last year, building Clement Avenue to Highway 33 was estimated by the city to cost at least $57 million.

The Okanagan Rail Trail and the Greenway are two popular long-distance recreation corridors, but there is currently no dedicated biking-and-pedestrian link between the two.