A path for cyclists and hikers would provide a safer route for non-motorized transportation between Penticton and Summerland.
The proposed pathway, from Trout Creek to Penticton, is part of the Trail of the Okanagans initiative.
Last year, a 1.3-kilometre portion of the path was completed from Landry Crescent to Lakeshore Drive.
This first phase of the pathway gave cyclists a route separate from motor vehicles.
The segment is a well-travelled area, especially in the summer, when many visitors and residents would cycle between Trout Creek and Lakeshore Drive.
While many dedicated cyclists have used the highway for years, casual recreational riders wanted a route away from the traffic volumes and speeds of the highway.
The pathway provided a separation from the highway traffic.
The safety factor alone made this portion of the pathway worthwhile.
Further expansion of the route would provide cyclists and hikers with an access route between Summerland and Penticton.
This could benefit both communities as it provides an additional attraction to visitors.
Tourism organizations in the Okanagan Valley are already looking at ways to attract vacationing cyclists and there are some well established cycling events within our region each summer.
These include the Prospera Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan and Summerland’s annual Test of Humanity mountain bike race.
Adding the pathway will help to promote the Okanagan for others interested in discovering cycling in this region.
This pathway should be seen as more than an amenity for cyclists. It can also be an investment in tourism.