Bike riders of every type — from the calm cruiser to the rabid racer — are being asked to share their perspectives on priorities for new bike infrastructure in Campbell River.
The Cycling Advocacy Committee of the River City Cycling Club has released a questionnaire about where new bike infrastructure should be built. The main question being asked which north-south route into downtown should be further developed.
“There is no safe way to get downtown,” said John Elson, a member of the Cycling Advocacy Committee.
While there are a number of options, they each have their own challenges and idiosyncrasies, he said.
“For instance, the Seawalk, that’s pretty good infrastructure; you can choose to ride on the road or you can choose to use the Rotary Seawalk,” said Elson. “But of course it becomes less successful as soon as you hit the hill, where now there’s only a painted bike lane. Then when you get to the Maritime Heritage Centre, you come down, and then suddenly the bike lane disappears.”
By providing a safe route downtown, the city could encourage more bike commuting, said Elson.
“There’s a fair number of recreational cyclists, especially in the protected areas, but there’s not a lot of commuting, because there’s no safe way to do it.”
Improving cycling infrastructure downtown could also be part of the solution to making the area itself more enjoyable to visit, while also working to improve rider safety, he said.
While the survey’s focus is on downtown, it also asks respondents to suggest any other areas where infrastructure improvements could make riding a bike in Campbell River safer, more efficient and more enjoyable. These could include extra lanes, bike racks, e-Bike charging stations, or green paint for conflict areas, to name a few.
“We’re hoping to solicit people’s opinions and see what they think,” he said.
From the information gathered, the committee hopes to provide the city a report to give its staff a range of possibilities they could potentially develop into shovel-ready projects to apply for grant funding — of which Elson says there have been few attempts to date.
“We’ve been asking them to apply for some years now, and we haven’t had any success,” he said.