Complete Streets candidates picked

A consultant has identified two stretches of Courtenay roads as Complete Streets candidates, referring to safe access for all ages, abilities and modes of travel.

According to surveys conducted by Morrison Hershfield, Fitzgerald Avenue from Fifth Street to Cumberland Road and Fifth Street from Menzies Avenue to Fitzgerald are priority projects. The 225-metre stretch on Fitzgerald would cost an estimated $510,000 while the 530-metre stretch on Fifth would run about $980,000. Staff recommends construction of a pilot be deferred to 2015.

The project evaluation was part of a final report on the 25 Year Vision for Multi-Modal Transportation, presented Aug. 5 at Courtenay council. The goal of the report is to identify a transportation strategy concerning road and underground assets.

Jennifer Armstrong of Morrison Hershfield said 75 per cent of respondents to 814 surveys indicate they are satisfied with vehicle travel in Courtenay. Surveys also indicate a desire to improve ability to bike, walk and take transit, and to fix congestion at river crossings.

Eleventh Street received the highest ranking for a future river crossing in the city, though the street would first need to be upgraded to collector status.

Coun. Starr Winchester questioned why a third crossing would not be considered further south. Armstrong said 11th would be effective at reducing traffic congestion while a crossing at 29th would yield a decrease to overall travel time. But the latter loses out because it would be more than twice the expense. Environmental impacts are also detrimental.

Council directed staff to provide a further report to examine financial implications and an estimated schedule to deliver a Complete Streets pilot project.


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