Consultants recommend 10 improvements in 25-year Courtenay transportation study

A draft long-range community transportation plan proposes 10 road network improvements in Courtenay.

A draft long-range community transportation plan proposes 10 road network improvements in Courtenay, from widening parts of Lerwick and Ryan roads to a river crossing at 11th Street.

All 10 projects would cost nearly $100 million by the year 2037, according to estimates in the 25 Year Vision for Multi-Modal Transportation document compiled by Morrison Hershfield and O2 Planning and Design. However, Courtenay Mayor Larry Jangula says implementing even some of the project proposals are beyond the city’s means.

More than 500 Valley residents who completed surveys indicate general satisfaction with vehicle travel but dissatisfaction with other modes of transportation, namely walking, cycling and transit service.

The plan calls for complete streets concepts in road construction, providing a cost-effective way to gradually transition Courtenay’s road network to a multi-modal system. Complete streets are designed to integrate cyclists, pedestrians, buses and vehicles by way of cycling lanes, widened roadways, more efficient use of boulevards and other measures.

“The plan addresses transportation needs in a balanced way,” Emily Sinclair, an urban planner at O2, said in a presentation Monday at council.

Using Palm Desert as an example of a comparable sized city, Sinclair said four-metre wide multi-use pathways create an element of safety in the California town.

Road network recommendations for 2037 include:

• Upgrade Back Road to two lanes between Tunner Drive and Ryan Road ($2.5 million);

• 11th Street river crossing, and upgrade 11th between Cliffe Avenue and Cumberland Road ($21.4 million);

• Widen Lerwick to four lanes between Ryan and Malahat Drive ($2.7 million);

• Widen Ryan to four lanes between Back Road and Military Row ($28.3 million);

• Widen Comox Road to four lanes between new Tunner Drive connection and 17th Street ($7.2 million);

• New bridge across Tsolum River and realign Vanier Drive/Piercy Road connection ($11.5 million);

• Two-lane arterial between Veterans Memorial Parkway and Anderton Road to provide access to Raven Ridge development ($15.8 million);

• Widen Cliffe to four lanes between Fraser and Anfield roads ($3.1 million);

• Upgrade Anderton to major arterial north of Ryan ($3.6 million);

• Create pedestrian precinct on Fifth Street from the bridge to Fitzgerald ($.2 million).

Jangula feels a bridge at 11th Street would add to an escalating problem with density.

“I can’t imagine why you would look at that area,” said Jangula, who does not think the road behind Superstore will work.

While he commended the consultants for coming up with some good ideas, Jangula said implementing even 10 per cent of the plan is “beyond our means” in terms of future tax increases.

The draft report will be presented May 23 at a public open house from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Filberg Centre.

The final report is scheduled to be completed in June. For more information, visit www.courtenay.ca/TMP.aspx.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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