Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran addresses media from the front steps of council chambers on March 23. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

Kelowna council to look at closing Bernard Avenue to pedestrian-only traffic

Mayor Colin Basran made the announcement regarding the city’s reopening process on Thursday

Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said he and his council will look at the closure of Bernard Avenue to pedestrian-only traffic at their next meeting.

On Monday (May 25), council will hear the plan which will have Bernard Avenue closed to vehicles up to St. Paul Street from June 29 through the end of Labour Day long weekend in September.

The intersections at cross streets along Bernard would remain open to through traffic.

“This is something I’ve wanted to see us try for a number of years and this is the perfect opportunity for us to start a trial like this,” said Basran.

“With substantial reductions to normal capacity inside businesses to comply with health orders, making additional public space available, like streets and parking spaces, will help businesses maintain viability and encourage re-employment of staff.”

The mayor said Bernard was chosen as the city has experience closing it intermittently in the past and the Downtown Kelowna Association (DKA) has endorsed the idea.

While Basran said allowing businesses to take over parking spaces is a “financial trade-off” for the city, it’s something it can do to assist the independent business community.

As part of the same report, the city will look at moving back to paid parking in downtown areas.

According to the DKA, that part of the report shows the city’s plans to reinstate paid parking in Zone A areas on June 1, followed by Zone B and Zone C areas on June 15.

The DKA also said from June 1 through to the end of August, the city parking department is proposing to execute a promotion where the first 30 minutes of parking is at no charge when you use the Pay-by-Phone app. The current temporary parking program for curbside pickup is also proposed to continue.

“A more pedestrianized downtown will be an inviting and safe way for us to reengage with our favourite restaurants, pubs, coffee shops, retail shops and professional services again,” Basran said.

Basran also announced the reopening of some public facilities, including city hall which will open its doors on May 25.

While that means residents can go down to pay their property taxes, the mayor encouraged people to continue using online options to do so as the distancing measures at city hall are anticipated to slow down the in-person process.

More outdoor recreation spaces will open as of May 21, including basketball courts, volleyball courts, and extra nets at double-tennis courts and quad-pickleball courts.

“If the net is up courts are open for play,” Basran said.

Playgrounds are also slated to open in the coming weeks if things continue in a positive direction.

Indoor recreation facilities, however, will remain closed, as will the community policing offices at KLO Road and in Rutland.

Other than recreation services, Basran said all city services were maintained since the provincial government called a state of emergency and the city will continue to offer online and by-appointment services after the pandemic.

“We’ve had 220 staff working remotely and our return to work plan will start with some of those staff returning to their workstations over the next few weeks,” said the mayor.

Basran said the second phase of reopening is encouraging but warned that residents “cannot let (their) guard down.”

“How well we perform in this phase will determine if other phases go ahead as planned,” he said.

“Stay safe, take it slow, and let’s move on to the next phase of re-opening together. Even in these difficult times Kelowna remains one of the most desirable places to call home and will continue to be the destination of choice for people all over Canada and the rest of the world.”

Further details regarding the patio expansion are available here.

READ MORE: Kelowna mayor wants to expand open spaces for restaurants

READ MORE: Kelowna to open some public facilities in phased-in reopening plan

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Just Posted

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

.
Princeton’s Spotlight wins two provincial awards for excellence

Publisher takes first place for investigative reporting

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read