The Penticton and Area Cycling Association supports a revitalized waterfront with strong priorities for cycling and pedestrians.
The west Okanagan Lake waterfront is one of the most popular destinations in Penticton. It is imperative that the waterfront be revitalized for the following reasons:
First, tourism. Gran Fondo and Challenge Penticton are in their infancy and require that Penticton embrace cycling culture for these events to be successful. These events are starting to get more and more popular. Penticton needs to compete with other communities to make these two events successful. Also, Lakeshore is a vital connection for the KVR and Channel Parkway path, it would allow for a safe and scenic connection. It would also bring riders into the downtown from the KVR. Penticton has suffered considerably in the recent economic downturn. There are numerous studies that show direct and considerable economic benefit to communities that invest in biking. This is Penticton’s opportunity for economic success.
Second, health. Cardiovascular disease is a leading cause of death in Canada at 21 per cent of deaths. Penticton needs to encourage active living by promoting low-impact activities such as walking and cycling. Revitalizing the waterfront will be a great opportunity to help people get out of their cars, get active and enjoy the amazing waterfront in relative peace, quiet and safety.
Finally, council has already prioritized the bike plan, alternative transportation and climate action. Lakeshore offers a perfect opportunity to expand the bike network to one of the most popular destinations in Penticton. By encouraging people to ride their bikes, the city will be meeting their other priorities. Sharing resources between the city’s major projects makes economic sense.
Revitalization of the waterfront will help improve the health of Pentictonites as well as provide a direct return on economic investment at the local level. PACA strongly urges council to give consideration to bicycles when planning for the revitalization of the West Okanagan Lake waterfront.
Rowena Tansley, president
Penticton and Area Cycling Association