Response to hate crime

Hate crime. What a terrible, terrible thing to endure.

I can’t imagine laying on the ground, powerless, as I’m getting kicked for no reason. Oh wait, yes I can. It happened to me a long time ago, before you went to the police for this stuff. I went to the hospital, had a couple of broken ribs and some stitches and had to miss two weeks of work. The doctor said I should take six weeks off, but (could not with) rent and stuff.

It also happened to a few of my friends. I can’t remember the details.

My son graduated a few years ago and it happened to him in Grade 12. It was terrible. He called in the middle of the night. He said a bunch of people jumped him and he was unconscious. Then I heard someone yell, “Oh you’re finally awake. Looks like you want some more.” And then I heard my son get beaten unconscious while everybody laughed.

“Oh, you’re finally awake. Looks like you want some more.” Let that sink in.

I called 911 and went to get him. The police arrested 10 people and they had a video of (the incident). Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough evidence for the Crown to proceed with charges. You have to be kidding me.

That same year, my daughter was in Grade 12 and the police officer brought her home—not the hospital. Basically (the officer) dumped her and her friend on the front steps bleeding and almost unconscious. Then he just walked back to his car. I said what’s going on here and he said they were beat up in the park.

I asked, that’s it? (The officer) said, what did (my daughter and her friend) think would happen walking in Ben Lee park. It was 7 p.m. in the summer. That was the end of the police investigation.

If you’re reading this and you have a son or daughter who recently graduated, you know somebody who this has happened to.

I hope that this (latest attack) is a turning point. I hope people realize this happens at least once a week in Rutland. I hope we can stop this from happening to everybody, no matter what the motivation is. provoked or unprovoked.

Every one deserves a (proper) response. That would end this violence.

Craig Macfarlane

Bike rider against bike lane

Re. Penticton bike lane

Without a doubt, this is the most absurd project that has taken place in Penticton.

I have resided in this city for more than 50 years and have seen a lot of councillors and mayors come and go, but this about the worst idea yet.

People have ridden bicycles in this town and area for quite some time without a lot of reports of problems, other than bike thefts. If anything, the council could have looked at providing safe places to park and leave your bike when not riding.

Most cyclists don’t even want to be in the same vicinity as vehicle traffic when they ride.

If large numbers of cyclists began using the bike path, I question whether there would be sufficient room to accommodate them.

I have ridden a bicycle in this town for years and I am not about to endorse a path for bicycles.

Ian Graham

Property value 'plummeted'

Re. Penticton's bike lane

I am a frequent visitor to Penticton.

I find the bike lanes cumbersome and dangerous. If I lived on Atkinson Street, I would sue the city for loss of property value.

A few years ago, the city put a bike lane down Government Street. My sister lives on Government Street. She is handicapped. When I visit , I am lucky to find parking within a block around the corner.

It is very inconvenient, as I cannot walk far myself.

My sister’s property value plummeted as a result of the bike lane.

Kathy Malmberg, Oliver

Should've used KVR trail

Re. Penticton's bike lane

I believe we should have upgraded the KVR trail (in Penticton).

Locals and visitors would have enjoyed a beautiful local trail. We could have east to west street bike trails to KVR trail.

The notion the current bike lane is funded by grants and not local residents (is wrong.) Remember there’s only one taxpayer in Canada—us.

Rick Valenti

Build better roads

Re. Troy Gangl's letter Bad drivers abound and Norberto Rodriguez's letter Use public transit more (both Castanet, March 20)

Mr. Gangl and Mr. Rodriguez have both brought up some really good points about our transportation problems in Kelowna.

Indeed, dangerous driving is a big problem in Kelowna. And yes, we need better public transit use.

Even advocates of the good stuff can miss some key points, however.

Both the writers lean on a common myth, namely that smaller roads are more dangerous for all users. This is actually false.

It seems counterintuitive, but smaller, complex streets are actually much safer for all road users for a simple reason—drivers slow down. Force equals weight times velocity. For every ~15 km/h increase in speed, the chance of death resulting from a crash doubles, according to EMC Insurance.

I, and many other advocates of urbanism, believe the solution to the safety issue lies in street design. Speed limit signs are mostly ineffective when the street design doesn’t match them.

Just think of Harvey Avenue (Highway 97 through Kelowna). When it’s empty, how fast do you feel comfortable driving? With all that space, going 60 km/h feels slow, and you will speed up.

In contrast, driving down Pandosy Street on a busy summer afternoon with many pedestrians, cyclists and drivers about, the speed limit of 50 km/h would feel a bit fast. That is because the complexity of the street environment makes drivers less comfortable and they tend to slow down as a result.

Decreasing speed on our streets is also overdue. Most of our speed limits were developed before the onset of SUVs and electric vehicles, which are heavier. If you remember that force = weight x velocity, extra weight acts like a multiplier on the death-equation.

The days of building wide roads that make drivers feel relaxed and comfortable are over. Instead, we must build streets that make it impossible for a driver‘s brain to feel like speeding.

Spencer Lupul

No parking lot at city hall

I am so disappointed in the (current Penticton city) council, another mistake in the last election.

Where is the integrity of thee councillors in their responsibility to the city and residents?

Lets' remove the parking lot at City Hall and have all city employees ride bikes and scooters to their daily jobs in summer and winter. Then at least, the bike lane would get some use.

The managers at City Staff, being paid by taxpayers, are not listening to many of us and the cost of what they keep proposing seems to be far out of reach from what we, the taxpayers can afford.

Perhaps the wages received by those (managers) are not in balance with what the average resident of Penticton receives.

So, no parking lot for city staff. Use the bike lane in summer and winter.

Dorothy Conley

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