Recently, Penticton Coun. Andrew Jakubeit publicly proclaimed a plan to promote more bicycle traffic in our area. Perhaps he might contain further promotional zeal after considering the views of two majority groups who feel strongly otherwise.
Group A consists of the 90 per cent plus part of the population who do not cycle. This group includes those who resent — but must tolerate — the illegal, offensive and inconsiderate behaviour of far too many cyclists and regard the unceasing demands for evermore expenditures on their behalf as the yelps of a pack of freeloaders.
Group B includes the 96 per cent segment of our population who do not own motels, restaurants or bars. Nor do they perform the low-paying menial tasks associated with the enterprise of our much-pampered hospitality sector. The group B 96 per cent pays with inconvenience, delay, taxes and even highway danger to enhance the revenue of the favoured few produced by this cycling promotion flimflam.
It is irritating beyond words to the motoring rural residents of the White Lake, Keremeos, Oliver area to hear political demands for rural road improvements for the sole purpose of accommodating these cosmic nuisances. It is also highly insulting to hear parochial politicians call for massively expensive road improvements for one-time, one-day events such as the Gran Fondo, while happily content with the notion that the roads are just fine (which they generally are) for the intended purpose of year-round rural motor traffic.
It seems needlessly redundant to iterate the already obvious headache of danger and delay engendered by the endless rural ‘training’ on twisting one-lane roads or the blocked one-lane descent of Highway 3A to the Highway 97 junction. It is hairy. But the only acknowledged reality of the situation is the plethora of skid marks into the curves or the sight of vehicles swerving into your lane to avoid collision or “harassment”. In short, local road racing represents a threat to safety.
It is also time for cyclists to earn, by proper conduct and actual use, the facilities already provided. In fairness, any future expenditure should be primarily funded by the actual users.
As for the inventive spending plans of Penticton politicians, it is time to consider feathering the nests of those other than the already successful hospitality group who obviously exercise considerable political clout.
When inventing hare-brained spending schemes, the custodians of our joint account should remember always, that someone, somewhere in B.C., is obliged to work almost two hours to produce the tax revenue to cover each dollar spent. These are hard times. Please spend our money on something other than general inconvenience with little, nil or negative return to the average citizen.