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Petition presented on bike lanes

A resident worried about bike lanes on Ellis Street presented a petition with 159 signatures to the Penticton council on Monday.

Rick Valenti said he was representing local businesses and residents on three blocks of Ellis, as well as Vancouver Avenue.

"We wanted to reiterate we are opposed to it, and we do not want the bike lanes on those specific streets," he said.

Valenti is primarily concerned about losing 68 parking spots on the west side of Ellis, as well as what is being proposed for Vancouver Avenue.

He further cited statistics to back up his case, saying there are 31,709 people in Penticton, with 41 per cent over the age of 55 and only 3 per cent ride bikes.

"Their theory is cycling will increase business, because retailers will be more visible," he said. "But if you owned a business and only 3 per cent came, would you open?"

The city council approved bike lanes at locations throughout the city this year. Several are already in place on streets including Dartmouth Road and Dartmouth Drive.

They first recognized there was concern about the lane on Ellis after about 90 people showed opposition to it at an open house in October.

Following that meeting the lane was put on hold, said Mitch Moroziuk, director of operations.

"After so many people showed up, we saw a lot of people had issues, so we put the project on hold pending consideration of options," he said.

The matter will again be under consideration in January, he added.

Bike lanes continue to be a controversial issue in the city, period, he said.

"There are always going to be people against it and people for it," he said. "You are never going to get everyone on one side."

Valenti hopes when the Ellis Street matter is revisited a solution can be found.

"As soon as spring hits my wife and I are on our bikes, so I'm not opposed to cycling," he said. "I just want another place for the bike lanes, other than my street."


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