Penticton car lovers rally to protest changes to Lakeshore

City committee considering options for Lakeshore Drive that include parallel parking and one-way traffic

Car enthusiasts are gathering Wednesday night at Okanagan Beach to protest proposed changes to parking and traffic flow along Lakeshore Drive.

Clifford Martin is leading the charge. He feels the public hasn’t been given enough choice, with the Waterfront Committee narrowing the possible options down to just two, both of which would eliminate the angle parking along a portion of Lakeshore, replacing it with parallel parking.

“They gave us option A, option B without an option C to leave it as it is,” said Martin. “We’re just letting City Hall know that no, we don’t want a one-way street and no, we don’t want parallel parking. No, we don’t want all the big trees ripped out and no, we don’t want a big section of beach side either.”

That’s where the problem lies, according to Rod King, chair of the Waterfront Revitalization Select Committee. Space to accomplish changes the public told them they wanted in earlier input sessions had to come from somewhere. Overall, he said, people told them that the infrastructure need to be fixed and they wanted to see improvements as well.

“One, whatever you do, stay off the beach. It’s a small beach, let’s keep everything we have. The second thing was the path needs an upgrade and it is much too narrow.  Third thing was more trees, more shade, more picnic tables,” said King. “When you take staying off the beach and you want a wider path, by default you end up having to look at traffic flow and or the parking issue.”

The two options presented during this round of public consultation, which included three public sessions and an online survey, are far from finalized, according to King.

“We will have a look at all the online comments and choices that the public has made. As well, we will be looking at the summary of the three public displays and see if there is any overall thoughts coming through on either option A or option B or other themes coming through,” said King, indicating that parallel vs. angle parking could be one of those themes. “Out of that, hopefully, we could develop a further plan, which would then be up to council. We will be open to change and I am sure council will be looking to various options as well.”

Martin, who felt the round of public sessions wasn’t comprehensive enough, said his “Save Lakeshore Drive” group is determined to send a clear message about how they feel.

“I didn’t even know about it a week ago,” said Martin. “This is to show the city that if you are going to make changes, angle parking cannot be changed and a two-way street cannot be changed. What they want to do is to make Okanagan Lake into what Skaha Lake already is. You’ve got Skaha for the walkers and the cyclists and the people that want a quiet beach.”

The changes to Lakeshore Drive, Martin said, will destroy what he calls “the best cruising strip in Western Canada.”

“Old cars go down there in the evening and it is almost like a tourist attraction. Everybody goes by and they stop and take pictures of the old cars with their hoods up,” said Martin, adding that he visits Lakeshore about 100 days a year  with his vintage cars. But beyond that, he’s concerned about the logistics of people trying to parallel park.

“If somebody doesn’t know how to parallel park, you’ve got to stop the traffic, they have to try to negotiate in, which sometimes takes two or three tries. By this time, how long is it going to be before it is all backed up to the casino?” said Martin. “And they have this off-street parking. How many people with the kids and lawn chairs, towels and umbrellas are going to want off-street parking. Everybody is going to keep going around and around, trying to find that empty parallel spot, and how is that environmentally friendly?”

Martin’s group will be holding their protest rally Wednesday at 6 p.m. on Lakeshore Drive between Winnipeg and Power streets.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Everybody loves it the way it is,” said Martin.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alan can be seen picking organic ambrosia apples on his Keremeos orchard, Old Tower Farm. The provincial government has partnered with the farm owners to lease a portion of their orchard to a new farmer. (Old Tower Farm photo)
Budding farmer gets his start on Keremeos orchard

Kanver Brares, 21, will grow the fruits of his labour on leased land at Old Tower Farms

Corsac the cat is up for adoption at Critteraid.
Critteraid hosts three adoption Sundays

More than 40 cats looking for their forever homes

Abigail McCluskey is in the Netherlands training to compete in the World Cup next month. She joins 12 Canadian speedskaters for the international competition later this month. (Dave Holland CSI Calgary)
Penticton speed skater in Netherlands for World Cup

Abigail McCluskey will be skating the long track in the international competition

Summerland Middle School
COVID exposure at Summerland Middle School

The person who tested positive was at school Jan. 11

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A scene from “Canada and the Gulf War: In their own words,” a video by The Memory Project, a program of Historica Canada, is shown in this undated illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Historica Canada
New video marks Canada’s contributions to first Gulf War on 30th anniversary

Veterans Affairs Canada says around 4,500 Canadian military personnel served during the war

Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement facility. (Good Samaritan Society photo)
Resident of Vernon’s Heron Grove retirement home tests positive for COVID-19

Interior Health has not declared an outbreak at the facility

A 17-year-old snowmobiler used his backcountry survival sense in preparation to spend the night on the mountain near 100 Mile House Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021 after getting lost. (South Cariboo Search and Rescue Facebook photo)
Teen praised for backcountry survival skills after getting lost in B.C.’s Cariboo mountains

“This young man did everything right after things went wrong.”

Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole holds a press conference on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on December 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
No place for ‘far right’ in Conservative Party, Erin O’Toole says

O’Toole condemned the Capitol attack as ‘horrifying’ and sought to distance himself and the Tories from Trumpism

A passer by walks in High Park, in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. This workweek will kick off with what’s fabled to be the most depressing day of the year, during one of the darkest eras in recent history. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
‘Blue Monday’ getting you down? Exercise may be the cure, say experts

Many jurisdictions are tightening restrictions to curb soaring COVID-19 case counts

(Vernon Search and Rescue/Facebook)
Vernon Search and Rescue responds after family gets UTV stuck on SilverStar trails

The family activated their SOS beacon around 3 p.m. once they realized they could be facing a night alone in the mountains

Dastkar, a new furniture store in Vernon, features handmade, unique furniture carved from wood and inlaid with brass in the Chiniot style. The business located on 43rd Avenue was started in December 2020 but is currently unstaffed due to COVID-19 staffing shortages. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Vernon’s hidden handmade furniture store

Owners of Shahi Pakwan Indian restaurant opened the South Asian furniture store in December 2020

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
COVID-19: Provinces work on revised plans as Pfizer-BioNTech shipments to slow down

Anita Anand said she understands and shares Canadians’ concerns about the drug company’s decision

Tourists take photographs outside the British Columbia Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday August 26, 2011. A coalition of British Columbia tourism industry groups is urging the provincial government to not pursue plans to ban domestic travel to fight the spread of COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. travel ban will harm struggling tourism sector, says industry coalition

B.C. government would have to show evidence a travel ban is necessary

Most Read