Waves of opposition for beach project
Sep 6, 2012 / 5:00 am
Clifford Martin likes nothing better than getting behind the wheel of his 1961 Ford Fairlane and cruising down Penticton’s Lakeshore Drive.
So when he recently learned of proposed plans for the waterfront that will impact parking and his nightly drive, he decided to take action.
Last week he organized a rally in the location next to Okanagan Lake. Since then he has done surveys to see how the public feels, and on Tuesday night he handed the City Council a petition with more than 1,000 signatures on it.
“This beach is my living room, so when I heard about the proposed parallel parking instead of angled I was distressed,” he said. “This is a place where people come to drink coffee and enjoy the view, with parallel parking you can’t do that.”
The City Council decided in recent years to develop a master plan for the waterfront after noticing the walkway and other components were increasingly run down.
Once the Waterfront Enhancement Select Committee was formed it organized three public input sessions in which people said loud and clear “don’t touch the beach.”
Other ideas were more:
- bike racks.
Going into the third session, held this summer, the committee narrowed down design options to two. The first being two way traffic and going to parallel parking to make way for a wider path and green space.
The other is one- way traffic from the Peach to Power Street and then two- way from there to the SS Sicamous. On the second option the first 100 metres west of the Peach would be angled parking and thereafter it would be parallel parking.
Ultimately each option costs about $7 million.
Rod King, chair of the committee, said he looks at the petition as further feedback from the public and is eager to see the conversation continue.
“This is what we are looking for and once we have put all the information together we will look at it and see if there is a common interest,” he said.
The city has also extended the deadline for public comments on the revitalization to ensure all residents have the opportunity to provide feedback,
Martin is most interested in a third option that includes not doing anything to the waterfront.
“I want them to stop wasting taxpayers’ money and spend it on revitalizing downtown,” he said. “And if they need to do something just widen the path.”
But Councillor Garry Litke said doing nothing will not work.
“The walkway is crumbling and becoming a danger and we are probably looking at $2 million for straight maintenance, so we might as well spend more fixing it up,” he said.
In addition he stated the revitalization is in a very preliminary stage.
“For now we are still in the public input stage, we will then draw a plan, go to council and figure out a way to pay for it,” he said.
But as he sat in his Ford Fairlane facing the beach on a windy afternoon, Martin said he will continue opposing fixing, what he says, doesn’t need to be fixed.
“I jumped on this right away knowing how the city works and I will keep fighting and even take legal action if necessary,” he said.
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