When Penticton resident Cindy Courtemanche looks out her window, she sees something in front of her driveway that makes her feel unsafe every time she drives home — the city’s new bike lane.
Since May of 2020, the resident on Fairview Road has voiced her concerns with the city over the construction of the lane in front of her house. From losing parking spots to having difficulties driving out of her property due to the modified, narrow street, Courtemanche and her husband have made it known publically they don’t approve of the project.
It’s a unique situation the residents find themselves in. According to Courtemanche, they are the only ones who have been affected by the lane’s existence on Fairview Road.
“We’re the only ones who don’t have alley-back access,” she explained. “Everybody else has an alley or a sidestreet to use (to get into their property).”
Courtemanche told the Western News the bike lane is hazardous to them, bicyclists and their property.
The completion of the lane on Fairview Road has caused the residents to lose their off-street parking for guests. As a result, they can’t pull over to wait for traffic and get into their driveway safely.
Fairview Road, beginning from Martin Street and the city’s library, is now as narrow as its ever been because of the bike lane’s construction, Courtemanche said.
On days where there’s heavy traffic on the narrow road, driving home isn’t as easy as it was before, she added.
“We used to pull up on the curb and wait for the traffic to get into our driveway, but now we can’t do that,” she said. “It’s an awkward location.
“I lost my lawn because of this. It’s devaluing our property.”
Courtemanche has gone back and forth with the city since last May and not without any response.
The city offered to pave the residents’ driveway for free. That offer has since been accepted and completed.
When asked about paving Courtemanche’s driveway in response to the bike lane’s existence on Fairview Road, city staff told the Western News that the offer was an attempt to “mitigate some of the challenges they felt they were facing.”
The paved area, courtesy of the city, is meant to assist Courtemanche in making three-point turns so she can feel safe when pulling into her driveway.
The city’s manager of special projects also added that paving Courtemanche’s driveway was a genuine attempt to help them get in and out of their property.
Still, the resident on Fairview Road is not satisfied.
“I hate having to worry about the traffic and having to do three-point turns,” she stated. “I just want to come home.”
Construction for the next phase of the bike lane was approved in October. City council is planning on extending the project to South Main.
The first phase of the bike lane came in at a cost of $2.2 million.