Around 60 people spoke via Zoom, phone and in person to the Lake-to-Lake bike route at a public hearing held at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre on a snowy Monday night.
People in attendance and at home heard from city engineer Ian Chapman that the preferred route would cost around $8 million. A new traffic signal or roundabout at Atkinson and Duncan would cost an estimated $400,000.
Chapman also told the audience that the city could switch the proposed cycle path on Martin Street from the westside to the eastside, thereby saving the Time Winery patio as well as the $77,000 of revitalization work. Switching the path would also deal with the transit stop issues on Martin.
The switch to the east side would likely save the city nearly $2 million, said Chapman.
To improve the safety of the bus stops on the west side would cost $1.3 million.
Downtown Penticton Association (DPA) executive director Lynn Allin pointed out the switch on Martin Street is new information to them.
“I was here to say that the DPA fully backs the petition sent to you about Martin St. But switching to the east side is a new option we are just hearing about tonight,” Allin said.
Mayor John Vassalaki said that new information Chapman brought to the hearing will be discussed at Tuesday night’s meeting where council will decide whether to give the bike route second and third reading.
Some spoke about the cost and timing of this bike route. Others suggested the channel is already well used and safe. Several people asked for a referendum.
But the majority of people who spoke, did so in favour of a bike route and cycling in general in Penticton.
The preferred route, which stretches about 6.5 km, starts at Okanagan Lake at Martin Street. It features a two-way cycle track on the west side of Martin St. (This may be changed to the east side.) Traffic lanes on the one way street are not affected. Parking would be eliminated on the west (or east).
The bike route then carries onto Fairview Road. It features a two-way cycle track on the east side of Fairview Rd. and connects with Atkinson via the multi-use pathway north of Duncan.
Atkinson will feature protected bicycle lanes on both sides of Atkinson St. The barriers would not impede access to driveways, said Drdul.
The intersection at Atkinson/Duncan will be improved with a new traffic signal for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists. This was the chosen route because it provides direct access to Cherry Lane shopping centre, Safeway and other businesses on Main Street, said city staff JoAnne Kleb.
The route carries on to South Main using protected bicycle lanes. The bike lane on the east side is separated with curbs. The bike lane on the west is reconfigured so the bike lanes are behind and protected by parked cars. South Main bike lanes may also switch to the east.
The Lake to Lake bike route is on the Tuesday agenda of the Penticton council meeting on Tuesday.
More to come.