Downtown set for speed slowdown

Driver's education campaign begins in Penticton downtown core.

Deaglan Milton was one of those carrying signs advising motorists of the speed limit change on Ellis Street Feb. 10. Members of city council including Mayor Andrew Jakubeit

Deaglan Milton was one of those carrying signs advising motorists of the speed limit change on Ellis Street Feb. 10. Members of city council including Mayor Andrew Jakubeit

Motorists traveling along the 100-block of Ellis Street on Feb. 10 were given a gentle reminder of the speed limit change to 30 kilometres per hour.

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit, several council members  and representatives from the Downtown Penticton Association joined Penticton RCMP to drive home the point.

During the brief driver’s ed campaign in front of Fitkidz Gymnastics Club, participants held up signs while officers stopped people to make them aware.

No tickets were issued on that day, however, Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth said that will change as the relaxed enforcement is upgraded.

“This has traditionally been an area where drivers are going 70 km/h in a 50 kilometre an hour zone because it’s the quick way to get downtown,” he said. “Just standing here you can see how many  cars are going way too fast, they’re just flying.

“Somebody caught going 70 km/h here could face having their vehicle impounded for three days because that’s excessive speed.”

The changes have been made over a period of time and included public consultations and resident feedback.

“We want to enhance the pedestrian experience and make downtown Penticton a comfortable place for people to discover on foot,” said Jakubeit earlier. “Lower speeds will create a more relaxed atmosphere in our commercial core.”

The changes impact a total of nine streets in the downtown area.

Colin Robert, who was waiting for a bus, agreed speed reduction in the area is necessary.

“Drivers should be aware of pedestrians and disabled people and should slow down and pay attention,” he said. “It seems like people are always in a hurry to go somewhere (when) they should stop and enjoy the beauty.”

A map of the area is available online at www.penticton.ca/downtown.