City eyes lane changes near Skaha Lake

Penticton council directed staff last week to investigate a traffic reduction strategy for Skaha Lake Road between Channel Parkway and Lee Avenue that would take traffic down to two lanes from four.

  • Sep. 13, 2011 7:00 p.m.

Penticton council directed staff last week to investigate a traffic reduction strategy for Skaha Lake Road between Channel Parkway and Lee Avenue that would take traffic down to two lanes from four.

Modelled on Government Street from Eckhart to Duncan avenues, the proposed setup may also include a multidirectional turning lane in the middle and new bike lanes on either side.

Coun. Andrew Jakubeit made the notice of motion, saying this week the plan would crystallize informal discussions about what the city could do to lessen speeds on the route and create an inter-connected cycling network.

“There’s no real safe passage. Once you go on the channel on the native side, you just hit the highway and it’s fast and there’s no real safe way for someone to cross over and continue on the KVR trail or double-back and tie into our existing bike network,” he said, noting many families and children also carry floaties along the narrow sidewalk as they return from their trip down the channel.

With additional plans for discussions with transportation ministry on the horizon, Jakubeit said he and others began questioning the value of the current configuration.

“Why is it four lanes? It’s not busy there any more. We walk it every night. It’s a narrow sidewalk, and there’s really not that much traffic. If you had three lanes like on Government, then you’d have a wider, safer area to walk and ride a bike. It sort of made sense,” Jakubeit said.

Then there’s the potential tourism benefits. The councillor said a revamped beachfront drive would encourage people coming off the Kettle Valley Rail Trail on their way to Naramata to have an additional route that would double back around the beach and into the bike network up South Main and Government streets. The terrain is for the most part flat, making it accessible to the full range of user abilities.

“It would be a nice simple bike ride that an eight-year-old kid or someone who’s not an avid cyclist could ride safely and comfortably,” Jakubeit said, adding the proximity to tourist lodgings would make it a natural fit.

“There’s a couple big campgrounds right by there. I think the family tourists, now they’re into what I call outdoor adventurism. They bring their bikes. They want to be active and do things.”

It also fits into increased calls to get people out of their cars. If the city wants people to create a healthier lifestyle or downsize the number of family vehicles, he noted, they should be enticed to do so.

“It’s not quite a protected bike lane, but it certainly improves safety. If you want to have more people cycling, you have to ensure that it’s safe,” Jakubeit said.

The proposal received a warm welcome at last week’s council meeting. Coun. Garry Litke said he agreed with the concept, but suggested staff research the possibility of ending it at a signalled intersection, such as Yorkton Avenue instead of Lee.

The motion was passed, with only Coun. John Vassilaki opposed. He said at the end of the meeting he feared the proposal would create congestion.

Jakubeit, however, said Monday adding to the cycling network would benefit Penticton in the long run.

“It’s been talked about for a while, but never been followed up and implemented,” he said. “I think there’s more and more of an appetite as people want to be more healthy or downgrade from two vehicles to one. I think it’s good for our community.”

Staff will draw up the report that must receive final endorsement by council.

Just Posted

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read