Residents will have one last chance to have their voices heard in a public hearing on Nov. 16 on what route they want cycling to take going from lake to lake.
The final presentation from Penticton city staff to the council on Nov. 3 laid out the route they recommend, which could potentially cost Time Winery its patio.
That route would start on Skaha Lake, and travel down South Main Street from Elm Avenue to Kinney Avenue, where it would transfer to Atkinson Street until Fairview Road, down Fairview Road, and then along Martin Street until Lakeshore Drive.
The entire project would cost an estimated $8,069,000, with each of the four sections costing $2,098,00, $3,716,00, $716,00 and $1,539,000 respectively.
The public hearing is one of the final steps in the process of Penticton getting the lake-to-lake cycling route, which has been a long one.
“This has been a very long process; it’s been longer for some of us,” said Coun. Katie Robinson. “I go back almost 30 years, to making the motion to put the first bicycle path in Penticton. I think this is a very large step in what could be a game-changer for our community.”
With the route along Martin Street, 90 parking spots would be impacted, which is fewer than the 195 on Winnipeg Street or the 135 along Ellis Street, both of which were considered for the route.
Another point of consideration with the planning concerns the 200 block of the street, as part of the water and sewer main upgrades in 2014, the city asked businesses to contribute in exchange for improvements to the stretch of street. The costs for those upgrades was spread out over 15 years according to city staff, with approximately $40,000 still outstanding.
The impact on those businesses was one of the reservations that Mayor John Vassilaki expressed along with his approval.
“They paid the original amount, for the purpose of having an improvement for their business for the future. I hear no mention of them getting refunds for what they paid for, and it’s going to disappear if we go ahead with it.”
The route was chosen out of the options based on feedback from the public, affected residents, technical analysts, businesses and other groups in the community.
One of the potential changes the city is considering ahead of the final design phase would be to move the bike route from the west side of Martin Street to the east, avoiding the Time Winery patio and other concerned properties.
Council approved the motion to go to the public hearing unanimously, although counsellors noted concerns about the location of the final section of the route and the financial costs of the project.
The public hearing on Nov. 16 will be held at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre at 7:30 p.m.
The feedback gathering process was one of the largest campaigns from the city, with eight e-blasts/newsletters that reached 63,000 people, seven news releases, 25 advertisements in local newspapers, four videos receiving 23,800 views, three mail-outs to 9,592 addresses, five in-person events attended by 1,100, three online events attended by 40 (plus 815 views), seven meetings with representatives of stakeholder groups, five online and print feedback forms with participation by 1,837 and conversations with at least 24 businesses and 42 residents.
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