Penticton and South Okanagan
Mar 12, 2013 / 1:30 pm
Penticton’s new bike and trails network continues to roll toward becoming a reality, with a public hearing on the matter slated for March 18.
There will be some changes, however, to the original plan that received a first reading on Jan. 21.
At that time staff was asked by council to consult with the Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen, the Penticton Indian Band, School District 67 and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure regarding the network.
One response was received back from the ministry, referring specifically to the proposed bicycle lanes along Highway 97, between Eckhardt Avenue and Skaha Lake.
The ministry does not anticipate any further widening of the existing paved highway shoulders in this area that would enhance the city’s cycling network. The ministry would rather the city focus on investing in off highway options to further develop and promote community cycling links, it states.
The letter was considered at the March 4 council meeting, and the updated plan passed a second reading, but not without some opposition.
Councillor Helena Konanz said not considering the highway as part of the bike network is ridiculous.
“There are 100 bikes there every day, so they should embrace it,” she said. “And there is a group that wants to connect Kelowna and Osoyoos with a bike route , so we are probably going to need Highway 97 to do that.”
In late 2011, Urban Systems was hired by the city to develop a cycling plan. A main objective was to amend the official community plan, OCP, to include an updated network.
Highlights are a variety of bike path types, creating east west and north south connections and that the paths take people to a destination.
The plan was expected to be done in stages and has included much feedback from the community. There was also a visit from Andreas Rohl, manager of the city of Copenhagen’s bicycle program, and a cycling event at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Councillor Andrew Jakubeit said now that the city gets ready to implement it into the OCP, the hearing is another chance for community input.
“This is a long vision plan on how we will improve out bike network,” he said. “And we are always open to listening.”
Read more Penticton / S. Okanagan News
City of Penticton
Penticton Discussion Forum
Penticton & Wine Country Chamber
Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen
District of Summerland
Summerland Chamber & Tourism
Town of Oliver
Town of Osoyoos
Town of Keremeos
School District 67 - Okanagan Skaha
School District 53 - Okanagan Similkameen
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