Penticton and South Okanagan
Bikers gather to make wheel difference
Sep 13, 2013 / 6:00 am
Residents expressed concerns ranging from parking to safety at an open house on proposed additional bike routes, held in Penticton on Wednesday evening.
Some placed post-it notes describing their worries or support on maps of the routes, on display at City Hall, while others consulted with staff about the plans.
"This is not just a session where we tell them what is going to happen," said Acting Mayor Wes Hopkin. "This is a session to listen to their concerns and plan accordingly."
It is the desire of the city council to extend the bike network, and it has adopted the bike plan and put it in the official community plan.
There are already bike routes in place in several locations in the city, including Government Street and South Main, the presentation was to show what is new, according to city engineer Ian Chapman.
The proposed bicycle lanes are the continuation of the existing dedicated bike lane to Lakeshore Drive along Power Street, continuation of the existing lane from Wade Ave. W to Marina Way along Ellis Street and a dedicated lane from Channel Parkway to Wiltse with a connection to Carmi.
"Philosophically the council sees Penticton as a cycling town, people leave Alberta and come here for a bike ride, so it is only right that the city itself should reflect that," said Chapman.
Open house attendee Faith McEachern said she recognizes people like to ride bikes here, but she is worried abut one of the new proposed routes going right by her house on Dartmouth Drive.
"My concern is for all of the people living on Dartmouth Drive losing off site parking," she said. "I have nothing against dedicated bike lanes, I just feel doing it in a residential area could put a real hardship on people in that area."
Phil Cove, a Penticton resident, who gets around town by bike, said he welcomes the new routes.
"Virtually, every day, I feel the breeze from vehicles' mirrors while I am cycling," he said. "So anything that will improve safety for both cyclists and drivers is a good idea."
The next steps for the city will be to consolidate the public comments received from the consultation, then present that to council and seek approval to proceed.
The goal is to implement the new routes in late September and into October.
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