Now that the Rail Trail has been officially opened, the question now is how will it be managed?
RDNO chair Bob Fleming says it will be on both a regional and local level, with all the partners agreeing to minimum standards and consistent signage from Kelowna to Coldstream.
“But there is individual ability for communities to do maintenance, to do improvements on their own time scale with the approval of the other partners.”
Fleming says one example of that is Kelowna paving part of its section, as it will have more of a commuter role, to get to UBCO and the airport.
“There’s a central body that will still be the touch point for all decisions made about the trail, which involves all the communities including the OKIB, but the day-to-day operations will be through each community themselves and funded that way.”
Greater Vernon Advisor Chair Juliette Cunningham says RDNO will consult with trail users to determine where amenities like washrooms, benches and garbage collection, should be located on the North Okanagan end.
“It’s going to be a bit of a trial year but we’ll go to the public for that input because their the ones using it so they’ll have a better understanding of where they’re best to be located. So those are the decisions we have to make in the next year or so.”
The numbers are already impressive for the Okanagan Rail Trail.
Officials estimate more than 300-thousand people have used the trail since public use began earlier this year.