Choose active transportation
By choosing active transportation, you will:
- Save money on parking, gas and vehicle maintenance
- Strengthen your physical and mental health
- Improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Decrease the number of vehicles on the road and help reduce traffic congestion
- Create a community-oriented environment
Our Official Community Plan outlines a commitment to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent by 2020. As part of this commitment, we've been increasing the attractiveness, convenience and safety of different active transportation modes. We’ve been designing streets to serve a broader range of transportation modes, focusing on people who walk, ride a bike or take transit.
Walking is a simple way to get in shape, explore your neighbourhood and relax after a stressful day. Exploring your neighbourhood on-foot is a great way to meet your neighbours and get to know your community. Walking to local shops and restaurants gives you fresh air, exercise and saves you from finding a parking space.
Your commute can provide a great opportunity to fit in exercise. If you live close enough to walk or bike, try it one day a week. If you live near a transit route, get off the bus a few stops early.
To encourage walking within the city, more walking infrastructure such as sidewalks, crosswalks and shared pathways are being developed. We've also been adding accessibility features to make walking an easy choice for everyone, including ramps, audible signals and countdown timers. These collective efforts promote an active and healthy lifestyle.
Kelowna is a bike-friendly community, boasting the most extensive bicycle network in Canada for a city its size. This network continues to grow and improve with the addition of new bicycling infrastructure such as on-street bike lanes, multi-use paths and cycle tracks (separated on-street bikeways). We’re committed to the continued expansion and improvement of the bicycle network. We work diligently to plan and build new bikeways while maintaining existing paths – including sweeping them several times per year.
Everyone using pathways should be mindful of other users. Paths marked as shared-use are used for walking, running, and rolling by people of all ages and abilities. Be aware of the rules and etiquette to keep pathways fun and safe for everyone.
- Be aware. Stay aware of your surroundings so that you can hear others who may want to pass.
- Keep right, pass left. Make space for others who need to pass.
- Be predictable. Check for oncoming path users before changing direction.
- Don't block the path. Step aside when stopping.
- Be visible. Wear lights and reflectors at night so others can see you.
- Control your pets. Keep pets on a short leash so they don't block the path.
People on bikes
In addition to the above steps, people riding bikes can take further safety steps when out on pathways.
- Control your speed. Need to go fast? Try using the on-road bike lanes.
- Be heard. Alert others before passing but slow down and give plenty of space in case they don't hear you.
- Know and follow the rules of the road. People riding bikes have the same rights and responsibilities as a driver of a vehicle. This means yielding to pedestrians and obeying traffic signs and signals.
- Kelowna residents are On the Move with more than 70 kilometres of off-road pathways including Mission Creek Greenway, more than 412 km of sidewalks and walkways, and 280 km of bike lanes available.
- Stats Canada reports that Kelowna’s to-work cycling and walking mode shares are three per cent and 5.6% respectively, which is above average in B.C.
- We currently monitor pedestrian and bicycle activity across Kelowna. The data can be viewed via the Pedestrian & Bicycle Count Data public web page or on our Open Data page.
Traditional transportation strategies have addressed traffic and infrastructure concerns by constructing more roads. It has been recognized that this strategy offers only short-term success as population growth and demand for roads increase at an exponential rate. Local, provincial and federal funding is limited and unable to support the future demand for transportation infrastructure. This affects residents because they bear the costs to maintain and build infrastructure, and they have to deal with the negative environmental and social impacts.
By supporting all transportation options and improving our sustainable transportation systems, we can encourage and facilitate different travel choices and reduce the need for road space.
One of our focuses has been on sidewalk projects, which provide convenient and safer walking areas connecting to important destinations such as schools, parks, shops and jobs. Given our limited resources, the projects are prioritized and selected based on:
- Walking potential (type/mix/density of land use, proximity to destinations such as schools/parks/ employment and the extent of public support)
- Walking deficiency (collision risk, traffic speed, traffic volume, road width/length and public complaints)
A large number of projects have been planned for the next several years. For a list of current sidewalk construction projects, check out our current capital projects.