Lake-to-Lake Route: Changes along the Route
New features are being added along the route to ensure the safety of cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. In addition, upgrades to intersections, line painting, lighting upgrades, flashing beacons, wayfinding signage and additional concrete curbs are being added.
Where possible, the City has worked with commercial property owners to reduce the number of entrance points to improve safety for the cyclists. This means that there may be fewer entrances and exits to parking lots than you are used to.
Drivers will notice the new green boxes painted on the roads at intersections. These boxes allow cyclists to pull over at intersections as they wait to turn and allow through cyclists to proceed. Cars are required to stop behind the green boxes and never to stop on the green paint.
A combination of safety barriers and curbs will be used to provide physical separation between cyclists and vehicles.
Within the 100-300 blocks of Martin Street, you’ll notice these DezignLine steel bike rails bolted into the ground. This system will also contain wayfinding signage at the end of each block pointing cyclists in the direction of Okanagan and Skaha lake.
In some areas along the route, including the 400 block of Martin Street to Duncan Avenue, precast concrete units will be fixed to the road’s surface to create a barrier between the cycle track and vehicle lane.
Here’s an example of how it might look, as well as the two-way bike track system.
These two new sections of the bike route will be bi-directional, meaning that cyclists will be riding both directions on the same track. The track will be painted yellow down the middle to mark the centre line and cyclists will be encouraged to stay to the right within their track.
Intersections that already have signals will be modified to add a new traffic signal head specifically for cyclists. This will guide cyclists safely into an intersection, with a delay for traffic. This is intended to improve safety for cyclists and reduce the potential for conflicts with motorists.
This is an example of how the lights for cyclists will look.
To get started, the City has purchased 30 new bike racks for installation along the Lake-to-Lake route – to be installed between the library and Lakeshore Drive. The City will work with property owners and businesses to identify the best places to locate these racks.
Building the Bike Route in Waves
The following is a summary of the key activities that will take place to build the bike route. Road construction normally occurs block-by-block to expedite the work and minimize disruption. As the bike lanes are long and narrow, the work is stretched across several blocks and will occur in waves with the following activities overlapping.
The first set of activities that need to occur are the underground works. This involves digging up the road at key intersections to upgrade the electrical and storm sewer systems to support the new signals and drainage on the route.
Once the electrical and storm sewer upgrades are completed, new signal bases will be installed at the intersections. These signals indicate when a cyclist or pedestrian is waiting to cross and trigger a dedicated signal.
After the signal bases are installed, the sidewalks and curbs are restored to the City’s new age-friendly standard which allows for greater accessibility for people with impaired mobility.
New signal arms and heads are the next thing to be installed once the curbs and sidewalks are restored. The new signal heads include a dedicated signal for cyclists that allow them to cross safely.
Lines on the road will be replaced with new markings over the course of construction. In some areas, this involves grinding down the existing paint before the new paint has applied. Grinding can be noisy and the City has committed to complete these activities during the working hours of 7 am to 10 pm. Line painting will occur at night as normal to allow the paint to dry.
One of the final activities to occur is the installation of the barriers to separate the cyclists from the vehicular traffic. Different barriers are proposed for different sections.
Before the route is open for use, all line marking needs to be complete and pedestrian signals and signage installed.
Frequently Asked Questions
The City has received a number of questions about the Lake-to-Lake Bike Route since construction has started. Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions. Email email@example.com if you have any additional questions.
Through the creation of the recent Official Community Plan (OCP), the community identified moving towards a “complete transportation approach” as a priority. A complete transportation approach aims to create a safe transportation system that supports all ages, abilities and modes of transportation and prioritizes investment in active transportation. (Watch this video to learn more about how the OCP will influence transportation in the city.) One of the main recommendations in this section of the plan is to create a pathway within City limits connecting Skaha Lake and Lake Okanagan that is separated from motorized traffic, has minimal grade changes, and has connections to key destinations.
The estimated cost of the full route is $8 million including a 25 per cent contingency. The City is currently building the first half between Lakeshore and Duncan at an estimated cost of $2.3 million. The City received a $1 million grant from the Province towards this phase of the construction. The City is awaiting new grant opportunities to complete the remaining work.
The City conducted a 19-month process to involve the community in the identification of the route. The process was conducted in multiple phases allowing for ongoing participation as the location was narrowed down and finalized. All feedback gathered through the process was made available publicly and can be found on shapeyourcitypenticton.ca/lake-to-lake. The most recent feedback shared with Council occurred at the Public Hearing on November 16, 2020. The Agenda package includes a summary of the engagement process and all of the 360 pages of correspondence received for and against the project at the hearing. Follow this link to watch the hearing.)
This route is one of a number of Council Priorities and City initiatives that are currently underway to advance safety and vitality in the City. Other capital projects that are being funded this year are updates to the Ellis 4 Dam, restoration of sections of Penticton Creek, pavement rehabilitation, a new pumper/rescue truck and replacement of the refrigeration at McLaren Arena. Other non-capital initiatives that are receiving funding this year are the addition of two RCMP officers and expanded maintenance of City parks and beaches.
The City frequently receives comments that there are already bike routes in the City that are underutilized. The City adopted a Cycling Network Plan in 2012 that identified the routes needed to make cycling a viable mode of transportation. The City has made some progress in adding the bike lanes identified in the plan such as those on Government St. and with this project, the spine of the network will be completed. It is important to note that the Lake-to-Lake Bike Route is the first protected bike route in the city that is safe for cyclists of All Ages and Abilities (AAA) and through community survey the City learned that safety is the number one reason why there are not more cyclists on the roads today.
As part of consultations with the businesses downtown during the detailed design, the City learned that businesses were very concerned about preserving street parking and their patios, especially in light of the pandemic. To address these concerns, the City removed one vehicle travel lane on this block. This preserved the patios on one side and the parking on the other, making this section of the downtown unique. Drivers wanting to avoid this section have a number of options such as travelling south on Ellis St. or Winnipeg St.
While businesses on Martin St. are no longer able to receive deliveries on the east side of the road, they do have the option of receiving deliveries on the west side or via the back lane. The City’s bylaw does allow for deliveries in the lane and businesses are encouraged to use this option.
The decision was made to put the route on the east side in order to minimize impacts to transit and to property owners. Moving the route avoids impacts to transit stops on the west side and affects fewer businesses on the east side due to the parking lots, and government and park properties.
The intersections along Martin St. include a dedicated cyclist light to allow cyclists to advance before vehicles can proceed. This will clear most of the cycling traffic before vehicles have a green light to proceed. It is very important that drivers watch for cycling traffic going both directions before crossing the track.
Changes were made to the curbs at the intersections on Martin to reduce the distance that cyclists and pedestrians are exposed to vehicle traffic when crossing and reduce the gap that vehicles need to pay attention to as they pass through the intersection. This is a best practice design for Age-Friendly communities as well. It has the added benefit of slowing vehicles down which has been a frequent concern on Martin St.
The City has several communications planned to raise awareness of the changes that the route will introduce. Citizens should watch for a video, online quiz and poster to be available before the route is open.
The City has created a dedicated page on penticton.ca/lake-to-lake to share information about the construction. On this page, you will find:
- Construction updates
- Construction schedule
- Description of the construction activities
- Summary of key changes along the route
- Background on the project
- Who to contact
Through the detailed design phase of the project, drawings showing the details of the plan block-by-block were created for the downtown and Fairview sections. The drawings show the paint markings, the changes to intersections, the changes to curbs and sidewalks, the location of the bike lane and more on each block of the route.
No. The route is closed until construction is complete. As it is a two-way cycle track, all signage and signal changes need to be in place before it is used by both directions. The City anticipates opening the Martin St. section late July/early August and the Fairview section mid- to late-August.
In 2012, Urban Systems developed a report for the City highlighting a need for a safe and convenient cycling route connecting Okanagan and Skaha Lakes. Following consultation with stakeholders, Council adopted an updated Bike and Cycling Network map into the 2019 Official Community Plan.
Over the past two years, the City worked with the community to identify the location of the Lake-to-Lake route to act as a spine in the Cycling Network.
June 18, 2019: City Council endorsed the project to identify the location of the Lake-to-Lake route. The project involved an extensive engagement process and a technical analysis to determine the preferred route.
Sept. 6, 2019: The City hosted “Pedal Penticton,” a community-wide cycling event to gather input into the work to identify the Lake-to-Lake route. Approximately 500 people attended the event and the City received input from more than 1,000 individuals.
June-July 2020: The City conducted a targeted engagement program to ensure feedback was received from businesses and residents in the downtown area.
Nov. 17, 2020: Council amended the Official Community Plan to approve the alignment of the route after holding a Public Hearing on the proposed amendments on Nov. 16, 2020.
Dec. 8, 2020: Council endorsed staff working with affected landowners, residents and businesses along the proposed route, identifying issues and developing design solutions.
Feb. 2, 2021: City staff presented an updated design for sections 3 and 4 of the route based on feedback received. This included relocating the cycle track from the west side of Martin Street to the east side, allowing for existing patios to be retained and no significant impacts to the 200-block revitalization works.
Feb. 25, 2021: The City was awarded a $1 million grant from the provincial government to construct sections 3 and 4 of the route.
March 31, 2021: Council approved the detailed design endorsement for sections 3 and 4 of the route, directing staff to proceed to construction design work.
May to July 2021: Construction is underway on sections 3 and 4 of the route. This includes the sections along Martin Street and Fairview Road starting from Lakeshore Drive, through the downtown area to Duncan Avenue.
September 2021: Construction on sections 3 and 4 completed.
Note that plans for sections 1 and 2 of the route, which would complete the connection to Skaha Lake, are still in the works.
More information will be added to our Cycling page in the coming weeks related to bike etiquette and road safety. If you would like to read more about changes coming to a specific intersection, you can view the detailed design document for sections 3 and 4 for further information or review any of the engagement materials on shapeyourcitypenticton.ca.
Construction is underway for sections 3 and 4 of the Lake-to-Lake Route. Note that plans for sections 1 and 2, which would complete the connection to Skaha Lake, are still in the works.