Development will bring additional traffic

Development will bring additional traffic

Solly Road in Summerland will see use more than double from Banks Crescent development

The volume of traffic along Solly Road in Summerland will more than double if the proposed Banks Crescent development goes ahead.

At a municipal council committee of the whole meeting on Oct. 25, municipal staff presented details on the traffic effects of the 424-unit seniors housing facility.

Kris Johnson, director of works and utilities for the municipality, said the road today has an estimated 1,500 vehicles each day.

The first phase of the proposed development would bring an additional 527 vehicles each day, while the second phase would bring another 1,505 vehicles, for a total of 2,032 additional vehicles daily.

The total traffic volume on the road would top 3,500 vehicles a day. By comparison, the portion of Prairie Valley Road near the large roundabout and Giant’s Head School sees roughly 5,000 vehicles a day.

The first phase of the development is the assisted living and complex care component, while the second phase is the residential component.

The additional traffic will require improvements to roads in the area.

Dean Strachan, director of development services for the municipality, said road upgrades are the most visible part of the infrastructure improvements for the development.

“Roads are the one part of the infrastructure that you have contact with every day,” he said.

Strachan said the upgrade costs will come from community amenity contributions. These contributions are negotiated between the developer and the municipality.

Improving Solly Road from Highway 97 to the development area has an estimated cost of $1.2 million, while upgrading Latimer Avenue has an estimated cost of roughly $600,000

The portion of Solly Road from Highway 97 to the development area would need to be widened to a width of eight to 10 metres. Latimer Avenue would also need to be widened to a width of seven metres.

Johnson said the upgrades will present challenges because of the landscape in the area.

“There will definitely be some challenges that will have to be worked out in the detail design,” he said. “This is an infill in a challenging topography area.”

While the road upgrades are for the area between Highway 97 and the proposed development location, some members of council believe further road upgrades would also be needed.

Coun. Doug Holmes said traffic from the site to the core of Summerland would travel up along Solly Road, using the portion of the road where the upgrades are proposed. Traffic to Penticton would travel down Solly Road to Lakeshore Drive, putting additional vehicles on that portion of the road.

Strachan said the developer will pay $1,447,254 in development cost charges for roads. However, these funds will not go to upgrades to Solly Road and Latimer Avenue. Instead, the money will go to future road improvements within the community.

A full report on the proposed costs will come before council for the Nov. 14 meeting.