01/09/2015 11:54 EST | Updated 03/11/2015 05:59 EDT

Kelowna's controversial HOV lanes: changes coming

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation has announced changes to the controversial High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes along Highway 97, which intersects Kelowna.

Starting Jan. 19, the HOV lanes on Highway 97 will be will only be in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday (excluding holidays). Currently, the lanes are in effect all day, every day of the week.

HOV lanes are meant to ease the flow of traffic and encourage carpooling, but many Kelowna residents feel the lanes along Highway 97 don't work.

The highway intersects the city, alongside businesses and homes, and the outside lanes of the six lane road are labelled as HOV. It means the HOV lanes are also the lanes drivers use to make a right turn.

"In an urban setting like this, that's the only place they can be," said Murray Tekano, district manager with the Ministry of Transportation. "The bus stops are on the right-hand side so the HOV lanes are there to service (transit)."

RCMP say they will increase enforcement when the rules change.

Comments from the Radio West Facebook pagesuggest that people in Kelowna question how police will enforce HOV lanes that also act as turning lanes.

Here are a few reactions:

What do you think? Should police officers in Kelowna enforce the HOV lanes along Highway 97?

Post your thoughts in the comments section below.

To listen to the full interview with the Ministry of Transportation's district manager, click on the audio labelled: Murray Tekano discusses HOV lanes in Kelowna.