Cyclist Margaret Harris urges input on Courtenay’s transportation plan

Improving the opportunities for people to walk, cycle, use transit and mobility devices would lessen the strain on our road system...

A COMPLETE STREET is seen above

Would you like to influence the development of transportation and land use in your community?

You have the opportunity to do so until June 7 by completing an online survey through the City of Courtenay website (www.courtenay.ca/news/courtenay-transportation-survey-available.aspx).

The City of Courtenay contracted with two companies from Vancouver to develop a projected 25-year Transportation Master Plan.

In the fall of 2012 there were opportunities for input from stakeholders and the public. Using that feedback, the companies developed draft plans and brought them back to City council, the stakeholder group and the public for further input.

They are working on the final document to present to council and have invited the public to provide further input until June 7.

The original feedback indicated that the nearly 600 respondents were relatively happy with the infrastructure for car traffic, but not so with the current provision of infrastructure for pedestrians, cyclists, transit users and those using mobility devices such as scooters and power wheelchairs.

The prediction for population growth was given as a 75-per-cent increase over the next 25 years with the inevitable increase in transportation needs.

Improving the opportunities for people to walk, cycle, use transit and mobility devices would lessen the strain on our road system, limit the increasing greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the opportunities for social connections when people are not hidden inside the steel shell of a car.

Most adults, when asked, did not get driven to school by their parents. Currently, some 1,700 cars transport children to our local schools at the beginning and end of the day, representing about a third of the ‘rush hour’ traffic.

If streets are safe for children so they can walk or cycle to school or to their friends’ homes then they will be safe for all users and create a greater sense of community. “Complete streets,” which have defined space for all users, provide comfortable, safe and attractive environments.

If alternative transportation is used by those who are able to do so for as many trips as possible then the road system can accommodate those who must drive for work or personal reasons.

Please look at the Courtenay Transportation Master Plan and complete the survey now so that your voice as a Comox Valley resident is heard by the decision-makers before anything is finalized.

Margaret Harris, past president of the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition, writes Shifting Gears. It appears every fourth week.

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