Cyclists celebrate Sutherland Ave. bike lane construction, impacts of road closures will be felt by many

Work is about to begin on two City of Kelowna road projects to make roads safer for bicycles.

The work will impact Sutherland Avenue between Ethel Street and Lake Avenue and Ethel between Sutherland and Springfield Road.

An elementary school, a church and a daycare on Sutherland Avenue will be impacted, with access to the facilities reduced until October.

“We are closing Sutherland for a certain amount of time but we are maintaining access at the Ethel end of Sutherland to the school site,” Kelowna transportation and engineering manager Gordon Foy said. “We are working with the school to improve their traffic circulation so they can use the lane that runs along the east side to optimize their access.”

St. Joseph Elementary and the Clubhouse Daycare is located behind Immaculate Conception Church and are currently accessible by two lane-ways to the east and west of the property off Sutherland.

Students attend the school from around the Central Okanagan and do not have bus service.

Foy said the city was hoping parents could park away from construction and walk children to school.

“We know that is not always possible and that access has to be maintained,” Foy said.

A two-way, dedicated bike path will be constructed on the north side of Sutherland Avenue. Underground infrastructure will also be upgraded along the way.

Residents on the north-side of Sutherland will lose off-street parking once the project is complete.

The city continues to create bike lanes and traffic calming measures on Ethel, an endeavour that has been ongoing for nearly a decade. Three phases are already complete.

The $5 million projects begin in March and are hoped to be complete by October.

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