Penticton goes with compromise

Council's decision to go with option 4 is the best alternative for the Okanagan Lake waterfront

I would like to thank the Penticton mayor and council for having the wisdom to not approve option 1 and 2 for the Okanagan Lake waterfront.

Option 4 is a compromise for most sides. The option 3 group keep the two-way street and most of the angle parking. The taxpayer wins without loans and higher taxes. The option 4 group get their wider path to include bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades. Beach sunbathers will lose big time.

I am most concerned with the children crossing the bike path, hopefully they plan a safe way to do this. I also thank Andrew Jakubeit  for his foresight that any extra city money should go into the downtown revitalization. The downtown could be made a tourist attraction like Chemainus did.

I unfortunately have to disagree (with no disrespect) with John Vassilaki for saying our beach does not compare to Europe, the  Caribbean, etc. and is not a world class beach. First of all, this is Canada, and west Okanagan beach is the best freshwater beach/strip  in Canada. As for making it “world class” Was Penticton not voted fourth for the top 10 tourist destinations in the world by Facebook — as it is without change? Is this not already world class then? How much lower will we be ranked with the changes? And why would we want to make it look European. All the ‘European tourists I meet at the beach love it because it is not like Europe, after all this is Canada.

I am worried at the council’s remarks saying they will leave the door open to future  options like large intersection plazas, plazas that consume beach and parking. Is this supposed to be a beach? With a wider path consuming valuable  beach space, how much will be left for sunbathing tourists with a wider path going onto the beach side of the trees and any additional add-ons? Let us see how much beach loss there will  be with option 4 complete. And where  will the beach lovers wanting shade sit with the path by the trees? Drive down to Lakeshore Drive and the beach and guesstimate with the path on the beach side of the trees (including the buffer zone from the trees) how much will be left for sunbathers?

Hopefully this will answer some of Dennis O’ Gorman’s letter, and yes Mr O’Gorman there was a letter trashing vintage vehicles as not ecological and not important on the beach. If you went to the beach everyday you would realize that yes, the vintage cars are a mobile part of the wow factor of Lakeshore Drive, along with the Sicamous and all the natural beach attractions.

I also hope they will keep a step along the retaining wall from the street to pathway, as this is the widest chair in Penticton, especially in the evening. Imagine if it was at street level, how many lawn chairs would now consume the path? When option 4 is complete, remember the line from the Joni Mitchell song: “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”

Clifford Martin





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