Re. Bike lane not dead yet (Castanet, March 15)
Recently, in (Penticton city council) budget deliberations, the almost-completed Penticton Lake to Lake Bike Route funding was paused.
Bike routes in cities are recognized as critical infrastructure for safe active transportation. They provide a zero-emission way to navigate to services such as medical, law and business appointments, shopping and recreation. They enhance the livability for residents and the visiting experience for visitors.
Cities around the world are rebuilding transportation systems and communities to reduce car use and expand cycling routes, therefore reducing harmful gas emissions and improving mental and physical health. Often, naysayers who resist change become proponents of that change in relation to bicycle paths.
At the First Things First Okanagan Climate Action all-candidates forum (prior to last year’s municipal election), candidates supported a cleaner, safer future. They supported the bike route when responding to the Penticton and Area Cycling Association's survey ahead of the election.
Penticton has adopted a Climate Emergency Declaration, a Community Climate Action Plan and a Corporate Emissions and Energy Plan to reduce emissions drastically in the city by 2030, protecting us from the ravages of climate events like heat domes, droughts, and floods, and is building a greener, healthier city.
The bike route is in the OCP and the master plan. It is a perfect way to reduce emissions and educate the public on the urgency of taking bold climate actions.
Pressure from loud opponents to change should not dictate the way a city moves into better building practices and plans for a stable future for the good of all. Change is never easy but humans adapt when they must, especially when the change is a benefit that they can't see until it is implemented.
Let's embrace change and develop a safer, more secure, more accessible, completed active transportation route from lake to lake in Penticton.
Don't stop this AAA route.
Lori Goldman, Penticton