Despite the 100 per cent rejection by the users of the Martin Street option the council has seen fit to proceed against the will of the people by pursuing this expensive and detrimental option.
The Winnipeg route is less expensive, a more direct route and favored by PACA (Penticton and Area Cycling Association). While council has approved the whole bike route, they have ignored the demographic make up of the 35,00 0 population of Penticton, and daily users of the bike lanes; for example:
– the 30% senior population either in retirement homes, on walkers or restricted mobility or favoring their cars (10,000 to 12,000)
– the first responders, doctors, hospital staff, legal profession, city staff & workers living outside the city perimeter and many others who need their cars for daily work and shopping ( a low estimate of 5,000-10,000)
-the bike lanes usage during the winter months or unfavorable weather
Only through a city-wide referendum could the demographic and actual daily users could be determined.
During the final approval by council, only one councillor had the courage, common sense and business acumen to suggest a moratorium and take stock during the COVID, which is far from over, and its negative impact on businesses and citizens; another councilor who apparently did not properly assess the demographic and the consensus of the population suggested a “leap of faith” into the unknown, better left to the Lord, painting a rather personal rosy picture of the Lake-to-Lake project, consonant with the PACA philosophy and wishes?
While the council is conducting surveys regarding the Skaha Marina, the Victory Church fiasco and others, it is very concerning that they will not conduct a proper city- wide referendum and approval by the Penticton citizens of the whole bike route before spending $10-12 million of taxpayers’ money.
Major Claude Filiatrault (ret. RCAF)