The controversial lake-to-lake bike route along Martin Street is nearing completion but don’t bike on it just yet, pleads the city of Penticton.
“We’re excited to see that cyclists already want to use the new route. Now that the paint is on the ground and the barriers are going in, it is very tempting to try it out,” said Penticton engineering design supervisor Tyler Figgitt. “We can’t emphasize strongly enough that bikes are not allowed on the route until construction is complete. The route is not safe for cyclists or drivers until the traffic signals and signage are in place.”
Construction of the bike path has achieved a milestone with all major site works complete in the 100 to 600 blocks of Martin Street.
Finishing works including installation of the barriers, signage and signals will continue over the next several days as conditions allow. Intersections along Martin St. may be temporarily changed to three-way stops to allow the installation of the signals to be completed.
“We’ve been challenged with deliveries and the weather but crews are making the most of available working hours to meet this target and minimize disruption for businesses before the tourist season gets underway,” said Figgitt.
Parking on the east side of Martin has been removed permanently and the 200 block between Westminster Ave. and Nanaimo Ave. has been narrowed to one lane of vehicle traffic to allow for restaurant patios as well as the bike lane.
The city received numerous complaints about night noise when crews were grinding the old paint off the pavement in the middle of the night. They adjusted the schedule following the complaints from Martin St. residents.
The majority of the crews and equipment are now focussed on completing the intersection at Martin and Eckhardt Ave. to take the route across Eckhardt Ave. to Rory McIvor Way.
Drivers should be aware that crews will need to close Rory McIvor Way for several days in July to allow construction to occur. Drivers are asked to watch for signage alerting them of the closure and to choose alternate routes.
The city also wants to remind citizens that cyclists are not allowed on the route until it is officially open.
Barriers and signage are being installed to alert cyclists that the route is closed.
Cyclists are asked to follow the current rules of the road until the route is open which is expected late July.
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