Completion of the Ethel/Casorso Active Transportation Corridor (ATC) was celebrated by the city and Okanagan College (OC) Friday (June 10).
Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Flemming was also on hand for the event. The corridor will provide Kelowna residents, students, and visitors a way to ride between downtown and Pandosy Village and points in-between
“Those in-between points include Okanagan College and Gyro Beach with connections to the Okanagan Rail Trail and the Cawston ATC for those who want a longer ride,” said Mayor Colin Basran.
Basran noted the Ethel/Casorso corridor is unique in that it was designed to help new riders build their confidence before exploring the larger cycling network in the region.
“By supporting residents in their efforts to use active transportation more often, this network helps reduce congestion on our roads and reduce our environmental and greenhouse gas footprints, while improving community health.”
Minister Flemming pointed out that ATCs do promote healthier communities, and help tackle traffic congestion and climate change.
“We just been through probably the most vicious reminder we can think of, and I know Kelowna was cut off for a period of time with the Coquihalla Highway being down because of ferocious, climate-induced storms six months ago. That’s the kind of world we live in right now.”
Flemming added solutions that have been talked about for ages need to be built upon and funded.
“I know you know how to write a grant here, better than anybody else,” said Flemming. “I look forward to coming back to see the next parts of the network that has been envisioned for many decades, being built out.”
OC President Dr. Neil Fassina said the Ethel/Casorso ATC is a perfect example of how the college is connected to the broader community and its commitment to sustainability and accessibility.
“OC is an active participant and supporter of the United Nations sustainable development goals,” said Fassina. “Which hold us accountable to meeting or exceeding expectations of sustainability in our physical spaces and energy usage.”
Since 2004, the city has received $6.2 million from the province for active transportation, with $1.3 million specifically for the Ethel/Casorso corridor.