Letter writer Neil Pritchard is in favour of building the Lake to Lake cycle route.

Letter: Cyclist backs Lake to Lake bike route

Penticton needs to be a cycle-friendly as possible

Open letter to Corporate Officer, City of Penticton:

I am writing to the city of Penticton to express my support for the Lake to Lake bike route. I am hoping Penticton city council recognizes the worldwide trend to include cycling as a vital component to an inclusive community.

Penticton has long enjoyed a reputation as a “cycling destination.” This has largely been due to the recognition we have received over the years for hosting the Ironmans, GranFondos and other cycling events. But, over those same years, the city has been resting on their laurels and has done very little to support cycling as a safe and meaningful component of this city.

In 2012, the city undertook a substantial study of the infrastructure necessary to accommodate safe cycling in Penticton. Aside from a bit of paint and a few Bike Route signs, the city ignored every other recommendation from that study.

Penticton is, in fact, an unsafe city for cyclists and it gets worse every year. Not surprisingly, Penticton also has a disproportionate number of cyclists riding on sidewalks instead of cycling the city streets. And so, for pedestrians, the sidewalks are becoming less safe. This is especially true for our seniors. The Lake to Lake Bike Route is a serious initiative to address a big part of the problem.

The city has recently undertaken an effort to be recognized as an “Age Friendly Community.” I believe that supporting a Lake to Lake bike route, for all ages and abilities, is an excellent first step. I hope our council shows the leadership to take that step.

Neil Pritchard,

Cycling Without Age

Penticton