With regards to the editorial in the Sept. 5 Western News on Lakeshore Drive’s future, I would like to clarify a statement made by the editor, where were the protestors before?
There were three public sessions introducing the changes to Lakeshore, yes. I attended two of them, trying to figure out what each option was. So when you say where were the protestors I have to tell you, I attended two sessions and when I saw the cost factor of $7,100,000 for each option, I must say I almost croaked. All I could think was $7,100,000 for one street, Lakeshore Drive, wow.
I did the survey online and realized you had no choice but to choose option 1 or option 2, there was no other way to complete this survey. You couldn’t choose: leave it alone! It reminded me how easy it is to bully someone into choosing what you want. Through discussion with locals and tourists and the help of media and the Internet, it was easy for organizers to inform the public of what was looking like a decision in the works, as Aug. 29 was the deadline to complete the survey.
We learned from longtime residents, tourists and young families, that they wanted Lakeshore to remain as is. At the sessions, both sessions, the little piece of paper was handed to me: do the survey online. It was not user friendly, and so it was easy to see the writing on the wall — someone wanted to push this $7,100,000 project through without the residents of Penticton even being able to use the option of leave it alone. There is another option now, Option 3, and it says don’t change traffic patterns, don’t change parking, leave the trees alone, and don’t tax the already stressed residents with another increase in taxes.
Council has received the close to 1,000 signatures for Option 3. The survey online by the planners produced approximately 226 responses, and seeing there was an extension of that survey to Sept 7 tells me someone is trying very hard to push through their plan, and our city doesn’t have $7,100,000 to spend on such a project. Fix what needs to be fixed and perhaps clean the sidewalks that are already there. The beach walk was very unkept this summer. We spend a lot of time on Lakeshore. Choose the option of keeping the best Lakeshore Drive just the way it is.