Developments that add to traffic congestion aren’t what we need

Dear Editor:

If the residents of West Kelowna don’t pay attention to their OCP (official community plan) and leave important decisions to their elected city officials, we’re hooped.

We need you to speak up and express your concerns to council.

Commuters to Kelowna will be forced to leave 30 minutes earlier if the city approves the Blackmun Bay village in Casa Loma.

Two of our council members believe that high density developments such as this boondoggle will have little effect on bridge congestion — no matter where the highrises are located. Adding 800 cars into the Campbell Road on ramp will not be pretty. This is a transportation choke point.

I believe that the need for a second crossing can be delayed indefinitely by visionary decisions of the council, the WFN and the residents of West Kelowna.

Daily commuters from the bedroom community of the West Kelowna are solely responsible for the congestion on the Bennett Bridge. Studies show that 80.6% of our residents are using their cars, trucks and vans for their daily activities, which is 10% over the provincial average. Residents of West Kelowna are also the loudest voices in demanding a second crossing.

What can be done to reverse this growing trend so that we can alleviate the pressure on the western approach to the Bennett Bridge and all along the Highway 97 to the Westbank city centre?

High-density development should be concentrated in the city centre where residents can walk to all services and transportation hubs. With thoughtful planning, it is everyone’s responsibility to encourage the growth of our community in a way that facilitates employment, shopping and recreational opportunities on the Westside.

Is it not possible to develop our city so that many of our residents have no desire to cross the bridge every day for one reason or another? Is it not possible to plan a city centre where the residents don’t need a car on a regular basis? I believe that it is indeed possible.

If we could reduce the number of commuters that travel into Kelowna by 2-5% we could alleviate the eastbound congestion in the morning. West Kelowna needs to encourage the province to four lane Dobbin Road and to cut and fill exchanges at Butt Road, Westlake and Boucherie so that the Highway 97 traffic can flow smoothly in both directions. The costs and unexpected consequences of a second crossing will be staggering.

Alleviating congestion in the Highway 97 corridor would enable our residents to move freely in the community and allow visionary development to occur throughout the city. As neighbours, it is our duty and obligation to make West Kelowna a better place. The future belongs to the next generation and we need to leave a legacy.

Scott Rowland,

West Kelowna

Resident’s weekend ruined by Westside Daze helicopter noise

Dear Editor:

Congratulations to another successful Westside Daze.

However, it's Saturday and the Valhalla helicopter tours are driving me nuts. They fly directly over the condo complex with little regard to the impact they have on the people on the ground.

The noise is incredibly irritating. People are unable to enjoy their private space due to the blade and engine noise.

It's a wonderful event, but the producers, pilots and Valhalla administration need to assure pilots are following flight procedures and respect the residents on the ground.

And there's another Valhalla helicopter flying directly over Linden Estates.

Respect the people on the ground. Use flight corridors that do not fly directly over residential properties. The noise and intrusion is relentless. A quiet afternoon has been ruined for another fair year.

Patrick Olenick,

West Kelowna