Traffic fine revenues help fund city projects

City of Penticton will put some of the money towards new bike lanes

Penticton and area will be receiving more than $423,000 from the Strategic Community Investment Fund. It is part of the nearly $74 million being invested into communities across B.C. to meet local needs including more policing, new equipment, increased community safety initiatives, infrastructure and service delivery priorities.

The City of Penticton will receive more than $314,000 in traffic fine revenues. The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen will receive a Small Community Grant worth more than $109,000.

“Most of that has been allocated,” said Mayor Garry Litke. A variety of projects are benefitting, he said, but there is extra, since the city is receiving a little more than projected, which Litke calls a “fortuitous development.”

Since the city went through its budgeting process for 2014, Litke explained, a number of unexpected expenses have arisen, like replacing the tiles in the community pool with less slippery ones.

“From community safety to public services, municipalities are free to allocate these funds to the priority projects that matter to them,” said Penticton MLA Dan Ashton in press release.

“Residents of Penticton will benefit from safer streets, more efficient services, and an improved quality of life thanks to these grants.”

Penticton will also be receiving $8,821 from BikeBC, in the form of two grants, which will help improve the city’s cycling network.

A $4,658 grant will go toward the Power Street bike lanes, running from Westminster Avenue West to Lakeshore Drive along Power Street. The total project cost is $9,315.

Another $4,163 grant is aimed at bike lanes on the other end of town, on Skaha Lake Road from the Channel Parkway to Yorkton Avenue. The cost for that project is $8,327.

Both projects are part of the city’s Trails and Cycling Network, which will eventually see Penticton criss-crossed by a network of cycling lanes.

“Bike lanes provide one more option for commuters looking to get out of their cars, as well as those looking to boost their physical activity,” says Penticton MLA Dan Ashton. “Cycling is good for the environment and good for healthy living.”

Litke said it’s difficult to say when the cycling network will be completed, but it will be a long-term project to complete.

“Every year we make a little progress,” he said.

Altogether, BikeBC is investing $1.18 million across the province, which, with cost-sharing, will create more than $2.36 million in cycling infrastructure, including multi-use separated pathways, bike lanes, bike paths and road-shoulder bikeways.