Penticton council to discuss final leg of bike lane, and revisit first leg for fixes

Bike lane back in spotlight

Penticton city council will soon hear how public feedback informed the design of the fourth and final section of the Lake-to-Lake Route, and discuss potential changes to the Martin Street portion, at an upcoming meeting.

“The city is taking advantage of the bike route construction to address traffic concerns along South Main. As changes to pedestrian crossings, bus stops, speed limits and parking can affect residents in the area, we wanted to ensure the community had a chance to review what was being proposed and provide local perspectives on the changes,” said JoAnne Kleb, the city’s communications and engagement manager, in a press release issued Friday.

More than 200 residents participated in the in-person engagement opportunities and more than 500 shared their thoughts online, according to the city.

"Participants were mostly supportive of recommendations to reduce the speed limit in sections, introduce left-turn lanes on Green Ave, relocate or install pedestrian crossings and add treed boulevards in places along the route," reads the information release.

"The city also heard concerns about the reduction of street parking in some sections and questions about floating bus stops. For many participants, it was their first time participating in engagement on the Lake-to-Lake Route and there was interest in revisiting the need for the route and the use of curbs to separate cyclists from traffic."

Staff have made several changes to the draft design based on the feedback, including:

  • Working with the school to try to relocate the driveway at Green Avenue to reduce conflict with intersection, particularly with the addition of the dedicated left turn bays
  • Detailed review of proposed tree planting locations to ensure lines of sight from driveways are maintained, including removal of a number of trees
  • Inclusion of additional gaps in curbing across from larger multi-family properties to ensure cyclists could easily access both the Northbound and Southbound cycling facilities
  • Expanded gaps in concrete barriers at driveways to allow easier turning movements in and out of driveways
  • Preservation of parking on the west side of South Main Street, North of Yorkton Avenue, to more closely reflect existing parking

Staff are also seeking support from council to apply for the BC Active Transportation Fund. The city has already applied for a similar federal grant of $840,000.

If the city is successful with both grants, it would contribute $1.3 million of the estimated $2.3 million cost for the final section.

Staff will also be reporting back on options to declutter the 100 and 200 blocks of the Martin St. section of the route, at the upcoming council meeting on Tuesday.

"Based on feedback from the community that residents dislike the volume of signage and the dezign-line product and would like to see aesthetic improvements, staff are recommending a ‘sign diet’ that will see roughly 40 signs removed from the Martin St. corridor and the elimination of two driveways to reduce crossing conflict," the press release explained.

"Replacement of the dezign-line product with black bollards, concrete barriers and landscaped planters are proposed to ensure the infrastructure more closely matches that of the downtown revitalization efforts and neighboring investments in patios."

If approved by council, $200,000 will be included in the 2023 budget to complete the work.

Council will discuss all of these matters on Tuesday.

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