Province says no to adding highway portion to city bike/trail plan

Penticton city council was told the province would not endorse including some of Highway 97 in a bike and trail plan.

By Shannon Quesnel

Penticton City councillors are unhappy the province said no to a section of Highway 97 being advertised in a bike and trail plan.

The Ministry of Transportation was given the details and replied it would not be building a bike lane on that stretch and the city should not add it to an advertised bike route.

Coun. Helena Konanz said at Monday's council meeting too much effort has been spent on the plan to change it.

“I think we should do it the way we want to do it. I think it would be a mistake to not include it.”

Several councillors said it would not make much difference if there was a bike lane or not. Cyclists are free to use the highway.

“We are probably making a bigger deal than we need about this,” Coun. Andrew Jakubeit said. “The better bang for our buck is on the west side of the (highway). That is a protected lane that links lake to lake and has more potential as we continue our regional trails strategy.”

Jakubeit said there is no point in arguing with the province.

“It's not the hill to die on.”

Coun. Judy Sentes was even more frank. She said there's little chance the Ministry of Transportation will change its tune.

“What is our opportunity here? Is this just a decree that we have to comply?”

Mayor Dan Ashton said the city does not have a choice.

“It's their property. We should try to work with them. Just to draw a line and designate something on their property is childish.”

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at squesnel@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065.


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