Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps sends a video to Penticton endorsing the Lake to Lake bike route.

Video: Victoria mayor weighs in on Penticton’s bike route

Mayor Lisa Helps sends video endorsing lake to lake cycle path

The mayor of Victoria is weighing in on Penticton’s Lake-to-Lake bike route.

Mayor Lisa Helps sent a video to Penticton’s mayor and council in support of going ahead with the Lake-to-Lake bike route, saying it takes ‘a lot of political courage’ but there are more successes than challenges.

The video first appeared on the First Things First Okanagan Facebook page — a page dedicated to awareness about climate change and solutions to it.

In the video, Helps says she backs the bike route because she has seen firsthand how her city’s quality of life improved because of its cycle corridor.

READ MORE: Penticton approves bike to bike route

“We are five years into our bike route corridor. We have completed eight kilometres of 32 km,” she said. “We started in 2015 and there was a lot of resistance, a lot of worry about how it would impact businesses on the route.”

“But what we saw was business vacancies started to fill up with these new stores who had new cycle customers.”

“What we’ve seen now is seniors purchasing bikes and families coming to our downtown. The pay off is worth it.”

A response from Penticton coun. Katie Robinson thanks Helps for her video and endorsement of a bike lane.

It was on Tuesday when council approved the six-kilometre bike route that could cost up to $8 million. The night prior, more than 50 people spoke at a public hearing on the route. Most were in support of any kind of cycle paths in Penticton.

But of those who weren’t, they questioned why such a luxury item would be a priority for council when the city is suffering under the pandemic.

Several people asked for a referendum for something so expensive.

A petition signed by 600 people, mainly business owners on Martin Street, was sent to the city prior to the public hearing.

Martin St. would lose 90 parking spots when the two-way cycle track goes in.

The city still has a lot of steps to go. They still have to find a way to pay for the multi-million cycle path and it is now in its design stage.

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