Street safe in Kaleden with new walkway

The streets of Kaleden are safer now thanks to the action of one community member.

Shae Watson plays his ukulele on the newly opened Kaleden Lakeshore Pedestrian Corridor while Jake Louw joins along and Lisa Needoba

Shae Watson plays his ukulele on the newly opened Kaleden Lakeshore Pedestrian Corridor while Jake Louw joins along and Lisa Needoba

The streets of Kaleden are safer now thanks to the action of one community member.

On Canada Day, the new Kaleden Lakeshore Pedestrian Corridor was unveiled with politicians and community members coming out to celebrate the occasion.

The two-kilometre, paved pathway extends from Highway 97 down to the lakeshore on Ponderosa avenue, providing a much safer walking and cycling route for residents.

The $600,000 project was funded by $300,000 from the federal Gas Tax Fund and the same amount from the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

The issue of safely walking along the route is what caught Kaleden resident Kim Denis’ attention three years ago when she started the process of getting the walkway built.

“There was a lot of people who had been pushing for it prior to this. There’s a lot of school children who use this road to get up to school, so it’s a safety issue,” Denis said.

“Just drive down here and pass another vehicle plus somebody walking with their dog. It was dangerous, so it worried me and I couldn’t believe we didn’t have one. Having such an important road that goes from the top of the highway down to the lake, it needed something,” Denis said.

Denis started the process of getting the walkway built in 2012, and by 2013 she had a petition circling the community.

“Within six months we were in front of the local government and I think it was just right for the time. The monies were made available and it happened,” she said.

Denis said she was excited and thrilled to see the grand opening of the walkway, and that she’s already seen seniors using the path as well as children on their way to school.

Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen Area D Director Tom Siddon and Boundary-Similkameen MLA Linda Larson were on hand for the ribbon cutting and congratulated Denis on her achievement.

“This was a community-based project. It would never had been at the top of my list, or anyone’s list, if it wasn’t for Kim and the other volunteers of this community,” Larson said. “Sometimes that’s how a community project happens is when it’s supported by a community. And it has a champion, and Kim is your champion.”