Highlights from Pedal Penticton questionnaire

Staff shared an update on the outcome of the Pedal Penticton event and questionnaire at Council's meeting on November 5. Highlights from the questionnaire results include:

  • The questionnaire ran for two weeks from September 7 to 21 and was available at shapeyourcitypenticton.ca. Paper copies were also provided at City Hall and at the Community Centre.
  • The questionnaire received a very good response. A total of 1,068 questionnaires were received including 99 responses from the random sample. The majority of participants (84%) were from Penticton and over half (51%) were in the 40-64 age group. The 19-39 and 65+ made up the remaining participation at 21% and 26% respectively.
  • The majority of participants (71%) are active cyclists. Their main reasons for cycling are for leisure or recreation and fitness or training. For those that do not cycle, the main reason cited is that they do not feel safe on the road.
  • Most of the participants were not familiar with City’s plans for cycling with 75% rating their awareness of the 2012 Cycling Plan including the vision for a lake-to-lake route as poor or fair.
  • Despite not being aware of the City’s plans, most of the participants believe it is somewhat or very important that the City support cycling as an alternate form of transportation (93%) and provide safe cycling routes (95%). They also somewhat or strongly agree that protected or separated bike lanes are a benefit to drivers as well as cyclists (93%).
  • Most participants (93%) also somewhat or strongly agree that it is important that the City provide a lake-to-lake route for cyclists of all ages and abilities and believe their interest in cycling is somewhat or very likely (81%) to increase with the creation of the route.
  • Participants were asked about their interest in maintaining the route to allow for year-round use. 55% said it is very important and 29% said it is somewhat important. 57% would support an increase in the budget for snow clearing and ice control. 21% would support an increase with conditions such as if it is well used by cyclists, if other modes of transportation are allowed (i.e. mobility scooters), and if roads and sidewalks are the priority.
  • Participants were also asked their opinions about some of the compromises that may be required to add a route. 67% were open to removing a driving lane in some sections and an additional 15% were open to the idea depending on the location and as along as the roads can handle the traffic. 69% were open to removing on-street parking in some sections while 16% were not open to removing parking. 74% would support budget increases for road widening to keep the travel lanes and add the bike lanes.
The questionnaire also invited participants to provide comments to explain their responses. The following is a selection of the comments that reflect some of the main themes.

  • “As a senior and from my assessment of the bike lanes currently used, users feel safe when in the bike lane and in general motorists drive carefully through areas where bike lanes are identified.” • “While I do drive a vehicle and sometimes find the separated bike lanes to be annoying I prefer to think of the separate lanes to be safer over all.”
  • “Bike lanes are great if they don't impede on a business by making it unsafe to exit or enter the business parking, if they don't make it unsafe for deliveries of that business.”
  • “Cyclists could access restaurants and shops, improve merchant's business, and have a viable north south route.”
  • “Why should our tax dollars go to support cycling? What percent of the population actually cycles?”
  • “The roads are for cars. Bikes don’t need insurance but if they hit us people in vehicles we are responsible.”
  • “I think an improvement in safe cycling routes would encourage more families and other cyclists in general to choose cycling rather than driving. The weather and terrain in this city is very cycling friendly.”
  • “Commuting cycling is a GREAT economical way to get exercise and leads to a physically, mentally and financially happier community! Especially with the increase in E-Bike use, a protected bike lane would be well used IMO!”
  • “The snow and ice control be carried out as a pilot project for two years, identifying if cyclists are using the routes, and a cost : benefit analysis; the usage would be ranked, with the highest use routes continuing with regular snow clearing and ice control.”
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