Much to the disliking of the Salvation Army, a portion of Kinney Avenue will soon be closed for the purpose of fixing a congested city intersection.
Council adopted a bylaw on Tuesday, Aug, 16, that would permanently shut down Kinney between South Main Street and Shaka Lake Road to all vehicle traffic to improve the “overall transportation network capacity.”
Leaders at Penticton’s Salvation Army recently voiced their disapproval of the project, predicting that the closure would limit their donations because the access to the building will be removed.
“We depend entirely on donations at our thrift store and the complete closure of Kinney could eliminate a lot of that by making southbound traffic inaccessible from that intersection,” said Major Paul Trickett and Alan Madsen to council.
The “awkward” intersection, according to the city, is responsible for some of the congestion on the roads. It is sandwiched between the Salvation Army and a gas station. Often traffic backs up and drivers can’t make a left onto Kinney from South Main.
After the city also reworks the neighbouring intersection of Galt Avenue and South Main Street, as part of the project, the lake-to-lake bike lane is expected to be incorporated onto the aforementioned portion of Kinney Avenue.
“The reason for the closure to Kinney was not to facilitate the lake-to-lake bike route,” said Kristen Dixon, the city’s general manager of infrastructure. “The closure is to address the congestion and safety issues at the intersection that began some time ago, especially with the increase in traffic volume over the years.”
Dixon also responded to the Salvation Army’s concerns about access to the food bank and thrift shop, saying that entry points will still be intact despite the permanent road closure.
“The property does have five driveways, and only one of them is being utilized at this time,” she said. “So, we will maintain those access points.”
A new signalized intersection will be coming to Galt Avenue and Skaha Lake Road, as part of the project, with a new roundabout near Galt and South Main Street also set to be implemented.
Dixon says the work will begin sometime this year, with an estimated completion date currently set for spring 2023.