UBCM meeting on cycling precinct concept

Establishing the South Okanagan as a cycling precinct was the topic of conversation with two B.C. government representatives at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention this week.

Mayor and Council were able to raise concerns during face-to-face meetings with B.C. cabinet ministers in Whistler, including discussions on the development of a cycling precinct in the South Okanagan.

Penticton representatives met with the Hon. Todd Stone, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, to further the concept of designating the South Okanagan as a cycling precinct for the Province of B.C. The City of Penticton proposes the South Okanagan be recognized as a cycling destination, providing the local Ministry of Transportation with a robust mandate to support and encourage cycling on the roads in the Okanagan as a whole. City representatives also recommended the ministry consider funding a generic traffic management plan to assist event organizers with moving planning forward on cycling events in the area.

Penticton also encouraged the province to consider selecting two training routes for cyclists in the South Okanagan, with corresponding way finding signs, survey the routes for required maintenance in conjunction with cycling groups and prioritize road maintenance and incremental increases in the cycling experience locally.

“The City supports posting way finding signs, similar to wine route signs, to highlight access to the KVR trails, the local mountain biking terrain at Campbell Mountain and Three Blind Mice in Penticton, in addition to training routes. This would improve the ability of locals and visitors to experience the terrain on bicycles throughout the region,” said Coun. Andrew Jakubeit.

Penticton representatives on the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen also met with the Hon. Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training on Monday to discuss the potential to extend the tourist season through promotion of cycling. Branding the South Okanagan as a cycling precinct for riders of all ages, types and abilities would leverage international growth and interest in cycling, sports tourism and destination travel.