Penticton bike network one step closer to reality

Penticton’s expanded bicycle network plan is one step closer to becoming a reality, with city council voting in support of an updated version during their regular meeting Monday.

Consultation on developing a network of bike trails criss-crossing the city and linking into the area’s existing trail network has been underway since late 2011. Staff outlined the extensive consultation conducted to date, as well as some of the feedback on the proposed plan and subsequent adjustments.

Consultation has been extensive, including both public and a final round of user groups and city committees before preparing this final draft.

“We wanted to create bike paths that took you to a destination. As part of the meetings we talked to people and we asked where would you like to go,” said Mitch Moroziuk, director of operations. “Our plan reflects the answers we received there.”

The latest version of the plan includes some pieces and removes others including deleting a bike path along an industrial access road.

“I think a good compromise has been developed between the needs of the cycling community and the needs of the industrial community by making the adjustments,” said Moroziuk, noting that a bike route had been removed from Warren Avenue  and on to Dawson Avenue.

“What we heard from the Penticton Industrial development association was they had concerns about interactions between bikes and large commercial vehicles.  They had concern over loss of parking, they were  not in favour of a bike lane on Warren or on Dartmouth,” said Moroziuk.

Besides the Industrial Development Association, the second round of consultations included the city’s transportation committee and feedback from the Penticton cycling community. Council voted unanimously to support the new plan and begin the process of amending it to the Official Community Plan as well as directing staff to identify the priority areas within the bike network plan. Full implementation of the bike routes specified in the plan is likely to take several years.

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