Crosswalks, roundabouts prioritized in public art plan

Despite lots of talk about the city's manhole cover design contest, multiple councillors are more concerned about different elements of the public art plan.

The plan also talked about taking in designs from artists to redesign more crosswalks around town.

It's a theme that's been done before, notably with the rainbow crosswalk at Lawrence and Pandosy downtown.

Councillor Brad Sieben says that while painting the roads has worked before, he doesn't want it to be too commonplace.

"The crosswalks - I just want to go cautiously. I don't want us to have every crosswalk in Kelowna necessarily painted, because it takes away the significance of the ones we've already done. But certainly I think they're great in certain locations," he said.

Councillor Gail Given says the crosswalks also bring up maintenance concerns.

"I'm a little bit nervous about the complexity that might land on a crosswalk that would look beautiful Day 1, start to look a little worn out by six months, and after two years really not look good at all. So I'm a little bit skeptical about that," she said.

The plan also talked about adding art pieces to the middle of roundabouts.

Parks Manager Robert Parlane says the roundabouts are a good spot for them, not just for aesthetic purposes.

"It's proven to be a good location, (with) our traffic and engineering colleagues advising (us) that it's actually quite beneficial from the engineering point of view, to obscure the view through a roundabout," he said.

"That helps slow traffic down, and makes them look left or look right in terms of crossing. So we'd include public art in the roundabout guidelines currently being pursued by Integrated Transportation."

City staff are hoping to take a proposal in front of council for the roundabout at Valley Road and Cross Road next year.