Share the road proposed for Ellis Street

People who own businesses on Ellis Street in Penticton are pleased the council has endorsed a share the road proposal, instead of bike lanes.

Walter Stayanovich, the owner of Lanyon Home, said he believes it's a solution for all involved.

"Now the city gets what it needs, the cyclists get a little bit of protection by people knowing this is a bike route and the businesses do not lose valuable parking spaces," he said.

Residents and business owners first expressed concerns at an open house on the lanes, part of the original bike network proposal, in October. 

They continued to speak up and in January presented a petition with 181 signatures, from those not in support of the plan.

Most were not opposed to bike riding in the city, the worry was the loss of parking places on the street and the impact that would have on businesses. It was also felt they were left out of the planning process for the bike lanes, running from Wade Avenue to Vancouver Avenue.

"The biggest concern was the loss of parking, not having any reasonable proximity to parking by your business is the kiss of death," said Stayanovich.

Following a committee of the whole meeting on the matter, Monday afternoon, where some history and alternatives were presented, it was discussed at Monday's council meeting.

The motion to  go with the road sharing option, and a reduced speed limit of 30 km was approved. A Vancouver Hill portion of the motion was separated out and staff is looking at options for the street later this year.

Councillors John Vassilaki and Helena Konanz were the only ones opposed to separating Vancouver Hill out, with Konanz feeling it was important for that decision to be made.

Mitch Moroziuk, the city's director of operations, said they are finalizing the design, including signage and painted symbols on the road, for the sharrow on Ellis now.

It will be implemented once the weather improves.

Councillor Wes Hopkin believes it is a good outcome.

"I think it is a reasonable accomodation between the property owners and businesses on the street and the City, because we need a community wide biking network," he said.




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