John Hindle Drive Closure
September 7th, 2017
Foot traffic implications
It’s construction time at UBC Okanagan. It seems that around every corner there are people in hard hats working on something or another, either on campus or around it. One of the notable areas of construction is John Hindle Drive. For those that may not know, John Hindle Drive is the road to the west of campus that links Highway 97 with Academy Way, which is home to the Academy apartments, the U District apartments, Veda, and Varsity.
Currently, John Hindle Drive is closed and will be until the summer of 2018. While this construction is happening near campus and will affect many of the students who live on Academy Way, this project is being handled by both the city of Kelowna, and the BC Ministry of Transportation.
The University describes this construction on its website to be building a “two-lane public roadway” that will connect “Highway 97 to Glenmore Road via UBC Okanagan’s west campus lands.” This project will link John Hindle Drive to the Glenmore landfill, through an approximately 1.8 km long connection, which will create another path for commuters to reach campus. The government of British Columbia’s transportation website describes the benefits of this connection to be “reducing congestion and travel times along Highway 97, in conjunction with the Highway 97 six-laning improvements from Highway 33 to Edwards Road, by providing an alternate connection to Glenmore Road.”
“John Hindle Drive is closed, and will be until the summer of 2018”
However, this conclusion is still almost a whole year in the future. For now, John Hindle Drive is closed to through traffic beginning at Alumni Ave. This closure means that those who live on Academy Way will no longer be able to drive down by campus, and those who walk to class every day will have to use the new temporary detour, as the popular cut through route across from the Academy Apartments will be closed to pedestrians.
Currently, this detour takes both cyclists and pedestrians down Academy Way onto John Hindle Drive where they will cross onto Alumni Ave. In other words, this detour will go down Academy hill and across the street, leading to the sidewalk between B lot and J lot. While this detour is longer than the shortcut that the majority of students used, by this time next year there will be a much faster, safer route for both pedestrians and cyclists to use.