Route selection for proposed bike lane nears final engagement phase


During its upcoming meeting scheduled for September 15, 2020, Penticton City Council will receive an update on the work completed to date to determine a proposed preferred route for a bike lane running from Skaha Lake to Okanagan Lake.

Commencing in the fall of 2019, the process of choosing a proposed preferred route has now proceeded through three phases of community engagement. In phase one of the engagement process, the community confirmed their interest in a central bike lane connecting both lakes; in phase two the public was asked to comment on which neighbourhoods and streets are best suited to build bike lanes and, most recently, during phase three, the pros and cons of individual route options through the downtown were discussed.

As each phase of the engagement process was completed, staff returned to Council with a summary of the community’s feedback, along with an overview of next steps in the engagement process.

For the fourth and final round of engagement, owners and tenants with properties neighbouring the proposed preferred route, which comprises South Main St., Atkinson St., Fairview Road and Martin St., will be encouraged to comment on how a bike lane along their section of road may or may not impact their residence or place of business.

More information about the possible design of the proposed preferred route and the impacts to intersections will be shared in preparation of the final round of engagement, which staff is recommending occur from September 16 through to mid October.

“On September 15, staff will present the proposed preferred route to Council and seek their confirmation to proceed to a fourth and final round of engagement,” said the City’s Engagement Strategist, JoAnne Kleb. “Until now, our engagement process has focused on communicating and explaining the concept of a lake-to-lake bike lane, along with exploring options on where best to build it. For this final phase of engagement, attention shifts towards the specific streets that could form a route and understanding how the integration of a bike lane impacts adjacent homes or businesses.”

Despite hosting a dozen engagement opportunities over a 10-month period, combined with regular advertising and media coverage, the City anticipates some property owners and tenants along the proposed preferred route may be unfamiliar with the project.

“Past efforts to share information and generate awareness is no guarantee everyone’s informed,” said the City’s Communication Manager, Philip Cooper. “Potentially affected individuals can quickly get up to speed by reviewing the information resources located on the City’s engagement website - If you’ve been putting off providing feedback or you’re someone who’s just learning about this project now, we encourage you to get involved in the process while the window for engagement remains open and staff are actively gathering feedback.”

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