Active transportation advocate Glen Byle running for Trail council

Glen Byle (Photo submitted)

A man who serves on the board of the West Kootenay Cycling Coalition is running for Trail city council with hopes of making it easier for people to get around town without a car.

“I’m interested in making some improvements to transportation in Trail, specifically for active transportation, which is good for kids and seniors and people who can’t drive,” Glen Byle says.

Byle thought about running for council a few years ago when he was trying to spearhead transportation-related improvements in the city and wasn’t making much headway. The city is now developing an active transportation plan.

Byle says his own assessments might consider what it takes for a child to reach a nearby park.

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“I look at that path and say where are the pinch points? I look for the spots missing a sidewalk or a spot where there’s no safe route where a kid has to go on the road with cars. That’s something I look for that would be a higher priority.”

Byle says he’s also interested in creating safe routes between neighbourhoods and ensuring adequate crosswalks and signage. He further wants to make sure sidewalks are stepped down so those using scooters can use them. He’s seen people unable to navigate the transition who end up driving on the road with traffic.

Byle has run provincially twice before in Kootenay West: for the BC Conservatives in 2020 and as an independent in 2013. He says the experience taught him a lot about the difference between provincial and municipal responsibilities and how important it is for them to work together.

“Specifically for Trail, with the shelter downtown, a lot of the solutions for helping the homeless come from provincial organizations,” he says.

Byle, 35, says he has been serving on volunteer boards to better understand parliamentary procedure and how the collaborative decision-making process works.

He has lived in Trail for 16 years and is married with three young kids. “If people are looking for someone to encourage things for youth and kids, I’d be a good choice,” he says.

Additionally, he wants to improve access to community spaces like parks, gyms, and halls and reduce bureaucracy or barriers for business.

When Byle graduated from college, he applied for jobs everywhere outside the Lower Mainland, which brought him to Trail. He liked it and stayed. He works at the regional hospital fixing medical equipment.