Penticton motel site could solve traffic woes

A woman walks past a motel property that features a road right-of-way some think could solve the area
A woman walks past a motel property that features a road right-of-way some think could solve the area's traffic problems.
— image credit: Joe Fries/Western News

Motorists who’ve had to contend with snarled traffic along South Main Street for decades should find out next winter if funds will be available to help untangle the mess.

City council voted at its meeting last week to address during the next budget process the possibility of finally extending Pineview Road to Skaha Lake Road.

Pineview Road currently terminates at South Main Street, and the extension would be made possible by putting into use a road dedication that runs across the Shielings Motel property on Galt Avenue.

Coun. Katie Robinson said extending Pineview Road would likely clear up traffic problems on South Main Street all the way north way to Kinney Avenue.

“We’ve got such a bottleneck when you’re trying to turn left off of South Main to try to get back on Skaha Lake (Road),” she said.

“That’s been an going problem for over 25 years.

“I can attest to the fact that it’s getting worse by the day.

“We’re getting cars backed up almost to Pineview now because they’re trying to turn left and get onto Skaha Lake Road.

“So I think the sooner we can look at this and possibly get it into the budget, the better off we’d be.”

Development services director Anthony Haddad said the city has had very preliminary discussions with the Salvation Army, which owns property that borders Galt Avenue and would also be affected by an extension of Pineview Road, in regard to a possible land swap to allow the project to move forward.

Discussion about the traffic tie-up emerged during council’s deliberations on a temporary-use permit for the owner of the Shielings Motel, which is comprised of a handful of cabins that are rented to long-term tenants.

The temporary-use permit was intended to allow the owners to continue storing vehicles that have been abandoned there by tenants.

Coun. Helena Konanz was among those who expressed concern about the untidy state of the property, but noted the road dedication is likely to blame.

“If I owned that property, I wouldn’t want to put any money into it if I knew at some point it would be taken from me or bought from me,” she said, before making the motion to put the Pineview Road extension into the budget process.

“I think we should address whether we want to make those changes or not, and allow the property owners to make a decision on what they want to do with their property from that point forward.”

Council later voted against the temporary-use permit for the motel site.

City staff will now work with the property owner, Gur Investments Ltd., to develop a plan to clean up the site.


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