As Penticton’s Lake-to-Lake bike route nears construction on its final phase, the owners of a business along the way are worried about how intrusive it’s going to be.

The final phase of the project will see the paved bike lanes along South Main Street upgraded to protected bike lanes.

One of the completed sections of the route runs along Martin Street, where two lanes of vehicle traffic were narrowed down to one for cyclists. Guard rails and an abundance of signage were also installed.

Looking south on Martin Street in Penticton.
Looking south on Martin Street in Penticton.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Kirby Smith

Last week a trucker found himself in a pickle while trying to get around the bike lane on Martin Street.

Although designs for the next phase haven’t been finalized, Dan and Tracy Fehr, who have owned South Main Market for 27 years, are concerned the new bike lanes will not mesh well with their flow of traffic.

They have eight parking spaces in front of their business. It’s a small area but the curbs are all flat so drivers have lots of flexibility backing in or out. That’s especially handy for drivers of large vehicles who frequently make deliveries to their store, although some find it easier to park on the other side of the road and trolley the products over.

But the Fehrs were told by the City that the open-concept parking could be replaced by one-way traffic with one entrance and one exit. Barriers will prevent vehicles from maneuvering beyond the sidewalk. Also the street parking across the road from the market will be removed.

They’re unsure how delivery trucks are going to manage, and are concerned by how much parking may be lost. 

READ MORE: Confused vehicle drives through Penticton's new bike lane

But despite the challenges of running an independent grocery store, South Main Market is a popular and busy place. Dan said their eight parking spaces are often full, and that they get over 450 customers per day.

They feel like there’s too much traffic of all kinds to be adding choke points, and they suspect it will create constant delays for drivers on the road and in the lot.

However, the City has not fully committed to enclosing the parking lot.

“Staff are continuing to work with the owners of the South Main Market through the detailed design stage to find a safe solution that works for everybody,” Shane Mills, senior communications advisor with the City of Penticton, said in and email.


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