Sandra Milligan (left) was one of many to forward their concerns surrounding bicyclist safety along Highway 19A between Hidden Harbour and the Maritime Heritage Centre after the city repaved the road and clarified the markings. The city will now host an open house on the matter to see what can be done. Mirror File Photo

City of Campbell River to host open house on bicycle/traffic safety along 19A

After many complaints following new road marking installation, city will ask for opinions on a fix

When the city repaved the section of the old highway between 1st Avenue and the Maritime Heritage Centre following the completion of the sewer renewal project earlier this year, they also painted new markings denoting where bikes were expected to travel and vehicles were to park.

While nothing actually changed in terms of where people were expected to park or ride – the markings were simply made more clear on the roadway – the completed work caused significant concern from the local biking community, which wondered why no changes were made to improve safety.

“It’s unfortunate how this unfolded,” Mayor Andy Adams said on Tuesday at the city’s Committee of the Whole meeting. “I think staff was trying to do the best they could and be fiscally responsible with this, but I feel this was a missed opportunity.”

Adams had asked that staff bring back a report on some alternatives to the current configuration of the road, which was presented this week.

While there were numerous options presented to council on different ways to possibly address the concerns, it was decided that maybe council shouldn’t actually be the ones to make the decision on it.

“I see this as an opportunity to consult the cycling community on these options,” Coun. Claire Moglove said. “When I take a look around this table, I could be wrong, but I don’t think any of us are regular cyclists along that route, or anywhere, for that matter. All of these options will have some pros and cons associated, and if we don’t take the opportunity to consult with the public, we could end up in the same situation (after making another decision).”

RELATED: Bike lane coming for Hidden Harbour hill

RELATED: Repaved stretch of highway dangerous, cyclist says

Coun. Charlie Cornfield wanted to take the whole thing a step further and get a review of the entire corridor done, including the expansion of the Seawalk through the area, saying council “needs to look at the bigger picture, too,” if they are considering making any adjustments.

While others agreed that the whole corridor needs a long-term plan, the area between 5th and 6th Avenues, in particular, needed to be addressed ASAP.

Coun. Kermit Dahl says he has, in fact, ridden that stretch of road on his bike. But he doesn’t anymore, he says, echoing the safety concerns council has been hearing from the public.

“I ride my bike a lot from my place in Willow Point to Campbellton,” Dahl says. “I used to ride, every Thursday, down that route, because I had a networking group that I met with on Thursday morning. That stretch is the most dangerous piece of bicycling real estate that there is between Willow Point and Campbellton. You can have all the consultation you want, but that’s the reality of the situation. I ride through Beaver Lodge Lands now, because that way is too dangerous.”

Coun. Michele Babchuk says while she isn’t a cyclist, “my husband is, and he’s almost been taken out twice in that area,” saying that the engagement needs to happen “sooner rather than later, especially surrounding that piece. If we choose to do a larger piece down the line, we have that ability later.”

In the end, it was determined that an open house will be scheduled to take place, likely at the Maritime Heritage Centre, where all stakeholders will be consulted on possible short-term and long-term goals for the area to address how to make the route more safe for all road users.

Watch the Campbell River Mirror for the announcement on where and when that meeting will take place.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

North Island College announces 2020 graduation award winners

North Island College has announced the award recipients for the 2020 Graduation… Continue reading

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Food security groups looking for new home in Campbell River

Grassroots Kind Hearts and other groups looking into alternatives

North Island College receives $125,000 donation from accounting firm

The donation from Chan Nowosad Boates will be used to purchase technology as well to award bursaries for students

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Shellfish industry get funds to clean up at Island sites and beyond

Businesses can apply to cover half of costs to clean up so-called ‘ghost gear’

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Most Read