Tips for a Safe Ride along the Lake-to-Lake Route
Important: Please note the Lake-to-Lake Bike Route is not open or usable until the traffic signals are in place. Temporary barriers will be blocking the route until it is complete and safe to use. Watch this page for updates.
The Lake-to-Lake Bike Route is designed for bicycles, including electric motor-assisted e-bikes (with a maximum speed of 32 km/hr).
Gas-powered cycles and electric cycles without attached pedals are not permitted, nor are mobility scooters and motorized wheelchairs.
Protected lanes have been built along the new sections of the route. These protect cyclists from vehicle traffic, either by concrete curbs or steel rails.
The route is a two-way cycle track, which means people will be riding in both directions along the bike route, with a painted yellow line separating each direction of travel.
What You Need to Know
- Stay to the right of the yellow line.
- Ride at a moderate speed and be courteous toward others.
- Watch for directional signage at the end of each block.
- Take note of bicycle signals that will direct you safely through intersections.
- Because the two-way cycle track is on one side of the street, be aware that you may be riding in the opposite direction to vehicle traffic.
New bicycle traffic signals are being installed, specifically for cyclists, at all signalized intersections along the route.
The bicycle signal will turn green first so that cyclists can enter the intersection before the traffic signal turns green for motor vehicles. This improves the visibility of cyclists to motorists who are turning left, and makes the intersection safer for everyone.
What You Need to Know
- If you plan to make a turn at an intersection, pull into the green bike box (see #4 for more details).
- At all signalized intersections, bicycle signals will always be in operation. Simply wait for the dedicated bike signal to change to the image of the green bicycle.
- At busier intersections without signals, use the push buttons to activate flashing beacons, which alert motorists that you plan to cross.
- When you see the green bicycle signal, you know it’s safe to ride into the intersection. The bicycle signal will turn green a few seconds before the signal turns green for vehicle traffic.
Cyclists should wait behind the painted stop bar at signalized intersections and only enter the intersection when the bicycle signal turns green. If you are making a turn, you should use the green bike box painted on the street to stop and wait for the signals to change.
What You Need to Know
- The bike box is a designated on-street space for people cycling to position their bikes when making a left or right turn.
- Cyclists that intend to turn left or right at an intersection on Martin Street should pull into the green bike box.
- A white painted line behind the box indicates where motorists must stop so they don’t block the bike box.
Bike Safety Tips
Be safe on the road by following these basic tips compiled from ICBC and the BC Bike Sense Manual.
1. Know and obey the rules of the road. Cyclists have similar rights and responsibilities as people driving vehicles.
2. Wear a helmet and be as visible as possible, using lights and reflectors.
- Wearing an approved bicycle helmet is the law in B.C. and you could be fined for not wearing one. Focus on how it fits: the helmet should sit level on your head (not tilted back) with the front edge one inch or less above your eyebrows to protect your forehead and should be snug.
- B.C. law requires that cyclists use a front white light and a rear red light after dark.
3. Bike safely and predictably.
- Learn your hand signals and use them to indicate to motorists your intention to turn.
- Watch for cars that may open their doors as you are passing by.
- Watch for dedicated bicycle traffic signals. When you see the green bicycle signal, you’ll know it’s safe to ride into the intersection.
- Stay to the right of the yellow line within the two-way cycle track.
- Don’t wear headphones and don’t use your phone.
4. Learn the skills needed to control your bike.
- Don’t hang grocery bags on your handlebars because they can upset the control of your bicycle and prevent you from turning your front wheel to avoid a crash.
- Riding double is only permitted when carrying a child in an approved carrier or when riding on a tandem bicycle.
- Try to keep at least one metre away from parked vehicles.
5. Maintain your bicycle in good working order.
- Ensure your tires are fully pumped and your brakes are working.
- A mirror is a great safety device to see traffic behind you or a riding partner without turning around.
For more bike safety tips, review the BC Cycling Coalition’s Bike Sense Manual.
Be aware that cyclists have similar rights and responsibilities as people driving vehicles. When driving through Penticton, you’ll find numerous bike paths and routes, some of which are shared and others are separated.
Share the Road
Help reduce the chances of a crash by sharing the road safely. Here are some tips compiled from ICBC and other sources.
- Look out for people on bicycles, particularly at intersections.
- Note that cyclists have designated traffic signals at major intersections and these signals may turn green at different times than the signals for automobiles.
- Watch for areas on the road painted green, such as intersections including Martin Street. Stop behind the green box when waiting at a red light.
- Keep a safe distance from cyclists of at least a metre.
- Watch for cyclists’ hand signals indicating their intention to turn.
Here are some tips to ensure a safe journey for pedestrians.
- Don’t walk in the cycle track.
- Watch for people on bicycles and make eye contact wherever possible.
- Stay alert and don’t be distracted, such as by texting while walking.
Background: Lake-to-Lake Bike Route
Construction of the first sections of the Lake-to-Lake Bike Route is now underway. Visit our Lake-to-Lake Bike Lane Construction page for the latest construction updates and well as a list of frequently asked questions.
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.
Note that plans for sections 1 and 2 of the route, which would complete the connection to Skaha Lake, are still in the works.
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.
Our bike-friendly city is home to a growing network of paths and routes that will connect you to lakes, parks, schools and businesses.
Penticton is a unique place, one of just two cities in the world nestled between two lakes. It's this compact geography, combined with great weather for most of the year, which makes cycling an ideal way to move around the community. Also visit our Trails page to scope out your off-road routes.
Lock Your Bike
You’re advised to lock your bike frame and both wheels to prevent theft. Invest in a quality u-lock and be sure to register your bike.
Register Your Bike
Residents are encouraged to register their bikes with 529 Garage (also called Project 529) which is a universal bike registration program. It's free to register and open to all bikes - from kids' bikes to mountain and road bikes as well as e-bikes - can register with this system.
You can register online within just a matter of minutes and pick up your decal from Penticton RCMP for a nominal fee. This decal not only deters thieves, but its tamperproof design provides information that helps police easily track down true owner of any registered bike.
Penticton Youth Park – Penticton's skate and BMX park – in Riverside Park on Riverside Drive is a great space for young BMX and mountain bikers to practice and gain confidence in their skills on a variety of bowls, ramps and stairs.
Also check out the Penticton Pump Track, at 1194 Poplar Grove Road (next to the KVR Trail), which features rollers and banked turns for honing your skills.
- Bike Penticton: This non-profit, member-based organization is highly involved in both on and off-road trail design, maintenance and planning. It’s also your source for local riding information.
- Sweet Single Track – South Okanagan Trail Guide: This site has links to over 100 trails in the South Okanagan, including downloadable GPS and Google Earth files (maps, images and trail descriptions). It’s also available in print – at Tourism Penticton and several local businesses.
- Bike Okanagan: An online resource for Okanagan mountain bike trails and bike repair shops.
- Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen: Cycling network trails and interactive maps.
- Strava: This tool is used by cyclists and runners to track their achievements using GPS recordings. After free sign-up, click on the "Explore" tab at the top of the page, enter Penticton BC into the Search area and access several GPS-recorded road or mountain biking routes uploaded by fellow riders.
- Visit Penticton: A variety of maps are available to pick up at the Penticton Visitor Centre.
- Trailforks: Online biking trail database and maps.
Also check out these useful biking resources: