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City defers cycling infrastructure decisions to transportation plan update

Cycling advocacy committee asks city to increase infrastructure funding
Cycling should be considered a fundamental mode of transportation, more than just a way to recreate, said Cycling Advocacy Committee member John Elson, in a Nov. 15 city council meeting. (File photo/ Black Press Media)

Input from cyclists about local infrastructure needs will be considered in an upcoming review of the city’s transportation master plan, and will also be discussed further at an upcoming committee meeting.

River City Cycle Club’s cycling advocacy committee produced a report based on results of a survey focused on rider views on infrastructure needs on Campbell River.

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The findings of this report were presented to Campbell River city council on Nov. 15 by committee member John Elson.

Elson said the committee is appreciative of the efforts the city council has made to improve cycling infrastructure, citing its decision in March 2021 to install painted buffered lanes on Hilchey Road.

But the time is now for the city to increase its investment in infrastructure, he said. This is because under the new Clean BC: Roadmap 2030, the province increased its expectations for the number of trips made in cities by walking, cycling or transit, as well as the federal government increasing greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

“Really, neither of these things can be done without providing people opportunities to leave the car at home and find some other ways to get where they’re going,” he said. “Cycling infrastructure is the cheapest, and probably the most efficient way to do this.”

The committee wants the city to look more seriously at cycling as a form of transportation — and move to support it financially accordingly, he said.

“This isn’t a recreational amenity for a handful of enthusiasts,” he said. “It’s a way of changing our transportation mode away from automobiles and towards walking, cycling, and transportation.”

Several councillors said they were appreciative of the information gathered and presented in the report. Later in the meeting, council passed a motion to direct staff to consider the report in the upcoming update of the city’s 2012 Master Transportation Plan.

“From my perspective, it is obsolete and inadequate, particularly in relation to cycling,” said Mayor Andy Adams, of this document.

The city is now requesting proposals for a consultant to conduct the update.

Coun. Sean Smyth suggested the city could consider some of the “low hanging fruit” requests — projects appearing easier and less cost-intensive to complete. Council then agreed to further discuss the report in an upcoming committee of the whole meeting.

On Nov. 25, the Cycling Advocacy Committee published a letter to the River City Cycle Club Facebook page requesting city council allocate $200,000 to cycling infrastructure in the 2020 budget, an increase from the current budget of $15,000. The city is holding budget meetings this week (on Nov. 29, 30 and Dec. 1).

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VIDEO: Cycle club volunteers work to improve Snowden Trail

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