Work is beginning to make Trail a more appealing place for cyclists and pedestrians.
City council has adopted an active transportation plan that calls for improved bicycle infrastructure, expanded sidewalks, improved pedestrian crossings, and better connections to recreational trails.
“We have a lot of projects, both for cycling and pedestrian infrastructure,” says grounds and roads superintendent Dave Moorhead. “A lot of those are to fill in gaps in our network found through surveys with citizens and stakeholder meetings.”
The city received feedback from 516 residents in the first phase of the plan and 308 people during the second part.
One of the top objectives is the Groutage Avenue Missing Link project, to connect Jubilee Park and the Columbia River Skywalk, for which the city has already applied for grant funding. The skywalk, a pedestrian bridge connecting East and West Trail, is already bike friendly, Moorhead noted.
“If we can get the Groutage Avenue project in place and create that laneway for people to use and connect that loop, it would be appreciated by people throughout the city.”
Also high on the list is developing cycling options.
“We did work to develop a spine network as we called it in the plan for bicycling,” Moorhead said. “That entails various infrastructure depending on the roadway, the neighbourhood, and how much space was allowable to work with.
“That could be a neighbourhood bikeway, which is just line painting on the ground to help delineate routes up to multi-use pathways in various areas.”
Moorhead said the projects could be paid for with a mix of grants and local tax dollars. Now that the plan is in place, the city can start pursuing provincial and federal dollars, as both have active transportation grant programs.
Some of the work involves enhancing existing infrastructure, such as adding sidewalk letdowns, and “updating that either to certain standards or just making sure they’re safe.”
Moorhead said in some cases active transportation could be a component of a larger project where other infrastructure is being replaced.
Mayor Colleen Jones said she is excited about the plan, which will help guide the city’s future in tandem with other documents such as the age friendly action plan and update to the official community plan.
“It’s a positive move for our community,” she said. “When you see more people on bikes and pedestrians, it makes your community have a sense of safety. You feel more comfortable. We learned from COVID how important it is to be outside enjoying the fresh air, how much better and healthier it is being able to walk about.”
The full report can be found here.