Council cycles around to bike plan

Efforts to bring a better cycling network to Penticton continue to roll right along.

The City Council Monday endorsed a recommendation from the Transportation Advisory Committee to support the bike plan and put it into the official community plan.

“Ninety five percent of the work is now done,” said Mitch Moroziuk, director of operations for Penticton. “Now the council has endorsed it, we will come back  with the amendment to the community plan.”

In late 2011, Urban Systems was hired by the city to develop a cycling plan. A main objective was to amend the OCP to include an updated bike  network.

Highlights are a variety of bike path types, one km in any direction to a bike path, creating east west and north south connections and that bike paths take people to a destination. The plan was expected to be done in phases.

The stages included feedback from the community, a visit from Andreas Rohl, manager of the city of Copenhagen’s  bicycle program, and a cycling event at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

A  map  was created and further feedback was provided from the Downtown Penticton Association, Penticton Industrial Development Association, Penticton Cycling Association and others.

Among suggestions and concerns were improving bike network signage, providing convenient parking for bikes, interaction between bicycles and larger commercial vehicles and creating a clearly identified loop route for tourists.

Revisions were again made to the map, prior to Monday’s presentation at the council meeting.

Mayor Dan Ashton said he was happy to see the cycling network moving ahead.

“It is a quality of life issue and bike lanes are being  more and more utilized,” he said. “We also have a perfect climate for cycling and this gives the world renowned athletes we attract for the triathlon a safe passage through the city."

Work on getting cycling paths and other components in place is ongoing, he said.

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