Council will hear the plan to identify an ‘all ages and abilities’ cycling route at their meeting on June 18. The need for a safe and convenient cycling route through the city and connecting the Okanagan and Skaha lakes was first identified in the 2012 Cycling Plan Update and reaffirmed in the draft of the 2019 Official Community Plan. Council included $35,000 in this year’s budget to complete the plan.
“The proposed route will form the spine of the City’s cycling network making it safe for people of all ages and abilities to cycle to many amenities and destinations throughout the city,” says the City Engineer Ian Chapman. “It will also provide an important link to the regional Kettle Valley Railway trails.”
After issuing a Request for Proposal in May, the City hired CTQ Consultants and Drdul Community Transportation Planning to complete the plan. The consultants will work with affected residents, businesses and the community-at-large to review the options for the route based on the preliminary concept in the 2012 Cycling Plan Update and determine a recommendation. The goal is to complete the plan this fall in time for the 2020 budget process.
“Communities are embracing cycling routes to encourage a healthy lifestyle, support green transportation options, increase the city’s vibrancy and of course, make cycling safe for everyone,” says Chapman. “To realize the benefits of these networks means some compromise as parking and traffic lanes may be impacted in some sections. Our plan is to try to minimize the impact through creative design and we look forward to working with citizens on solutions.”
Residents and businesses in affected areas along the route will have opportunities to get involved as will the community at large. The City is planning mailouts, a survey, and open houses to involve the community in the development of the plan. Information will be shared through the City’s shapeyourcitypenticton.ca website and anyone wanting to participate is encouraged to register on the site to receive information about the process directly.
“There has been interest in this route for many years but it has taken time to move it forward,” says Mayor John Vassilaki. “With the direction set in our draft Official Community Plan and growing support for active transportation in communities across Canada, it’s timely for Penticton to invest in this type of infrastructure.” The staff report to Council will be posted here later today.
The following map shows the general location of the proposed route included in the 2012 Cycling Plan Update and the draft 2019 Official Community Plan.