Reduced speeds are now in effect on several roads leading to École Puntledge Park Elementary in West Courtenay, with a goal of improving safety and comfort for people who walk, roll, or drive to the school and beyond.
The project is the first of several outlined in Courtenay’s approved five-year cycling network capital plan, which prioritizes active transportation for all ages and abilities. The speed limit on sections of Pidcock Avenue, 4th Street, Woods Avenue, and Willemar Avenue has been reduced from 50 km/h to 40 km/h.
New pavement markings and signage identify these specific street sections as “neighbourhood bikeways,” helping connect people to schools, parks, and surrounding areas. There are no impacts to parking.
Neighbourhood bikeways are local streets with lower vehicle speeds and volumes, where cyclists share the same space with vehicles.
Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells said the project was identified through the City’s updated Cycling Network Plan.
“Until now, there haven’t been any formal cycling routes that connected all the way to École Puntledge Elementary,” said Wells. “When the City asked the community for feedback during the development of Courtenay’s Cycling Network Plan, almost a third of respondents said these sorts of gaps in the cycling network to key destinations were a concern for them. We know a lot of people already walk and bike in this neighbourhood, and we hope these changes will make travel more comfortable for them and anyone else who might choose to use these routes in the future.”
The active transportation network has expanded throughout Courtenay in recent years, through projects for new painted and protected bike lanes, shorter road crossing distances, and pedestrian-controlled flashing beacons.
The École Puntledge Elementary neighbourhood is the first area formally designated as a reduced-speed neighbourhood bikeway by the city. Other pedestrian improvements in the area in recent years have included crosswalks with flashing beacons on 1st Street, 5th Street, Cumberland Road, and Lake Trail Road.
Enforcement of speed limits throughout Courtenay is the responsibility of the Comox Valley RCMP. The city has notified the RCMP about the new neighbourhood bikeway routes, with monitoring as police resources allow.
To learn more about the city’s cycling network plan visit www.courtenay.ca/cycling