The City of Penticton is once again inviting residents to provide their input on a proposed lake-to-lake cycling route.
The city is resuming engagement activities for the downtown section that were placed on hold earlier this year in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once the preferred option is determined for the downtown section, the recommendation for the entire route will be reviewed with the public later this summer.
The city is expecting funding for the bike route to come through in the fall.
“We’re pushing ahead to complete this work in hopes of being ready for grants that are expected this fall,” said the city’s engagement strategist JoAnne Kleb.
“We have a number of opportunities for interested citizens to learn more and share their feedback in a way that is most comfortable and safe for them.”
There are two options that are being considered for the downtown leg.
The first would see a two-way cycle track replace the parking on the west side of Martin Street and a second alternative that would see protected bicycle lanes replace the parking on both sides of Winnipeg Street.
The city is encouraging all downtown businesses and residents to get involved in the discussion.
The city has provided the following two options for residents who want their input to be heard:
- Participate in a July 2 online open house between 4 and 6 p.m. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions;
- Attend a July 9 in-person open house between 3 and 7 p.m. at the Penticton Lakeside Resort. Email email@example.com to register to attend during the one-hour time-slots from 3 to 6 p.m.
All citizens will also have an opportunity to watch a video presentation about the work to identify the route and complete a feedback form at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca or at City Hall beginning June 23 through to July 12.
Kleb said city staff understand that bike lanes can be a controversial subject, which is why they are trying to gather as much feedback as possible.
“Bike lanes are inherently difficult discussions. Through this additional step in the engagement process downtown, we want to ensure that council has a good understanding of all perspectives in order to make their decision,” said Kleb.
The work to identify the lake-to-lake route began last September with the Pedal Penticton event that had attendance of approximately 500 and generated more than 1,000 feedback forms with 93 per cent either somewhat or strongly in support of a lake-to-lake route.
In December, the city shared the options for each of the four sections of the route with the community at two open houses attended by over 400 residents and generating more than 200 feedback forms.
Penticton’s mayor, John Vassilaki is happy to see residents engaged with community changes.
“Council is pleased to see our engagement program once again up and running and focused on this forward-looking community discussion,” said Vassilaki. “I encourage people to take advantage of the opportunities to contribute their feedback online or in person while taking special care to follow the safety protocols.”
More information about the process and the findings to date can be found at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca.