I thought that I would sit down and write a positive letter in regards to Okanagan Lake Front Revitalization project, as every time that I open the paper I am bombarded by letters to the editor vilifying this project. I have the impression that most of the letters I’m reading are written by seniors or retirees, and while it is true that they do make up a large portion of Penticton’s population, this is by no means a good representation of it.
I disagree with comments such as “by moving to parallel parking and having parking elsewhere,… will make it more difficult and inconvenient for families to get there gear to the beach.”
As a stay-at-home mom in her 30s with a three-year-old child, I personally am in favour of the one-way street with limited street parking. This provides more area to be enjoyed by the public, tourists included, and makes it a safer place to be with the kids. As for having to walk a little farther and carry gear, big deal. I would rather have more outdoor space, and get a little exercise, then to have to stare at and smell the cars right there while I am trying to enjoy the great outdoors.
Furthermore, comments such as “If you make it a one-way, we won’t be able to cruise and we’ve been cruising in our old cars here for years” seem archaic and written by someone who is terrified of change.
Cities grow and change through the years and nothing ever stays the same. In the 2011 census, 66 per cent of Penticton’s population was under 65, and they are the ones who will benefit most from these positive changes. I’m still at the age where I pay full property taxes, and most of the people who are writing these letters are paying discounted taxes. Shouldn’t those who pay more taxes also have some say in where our money goes.
I think revitalizing our waterfront and trying to attract tourists and the younger population to our cities is just as important as keeping those residents who live here happy. I’m sure changing the waterfront won’t impact the Peach City Beach Cruise, (as they shut down the street anyway), but it will make it more inviting to locals and tourists who really just want to enjoy the beach and the sun.