Courtenay council

Courtenay council

Courtenay council considers bike-friendly 17th Street design

At committee of the whole Feb. 22, Courtenay council directed the city to complete a 17th Street design that incorporates protected bike lanes with curb extensions. The design is in keeping with the Connecting Courtenay Cycling Network Plan, which recommends a painted buffered bike lane on 17th to provide a continuous east-west connection between the 17th Street Bridge, Willemar Avenue and Cumberland Road, with access to the Riverway Trail.

The proposed project includes two vehicle travel lanes, parking protected bike lanes with a painted buffer to prevent ‘dooring,’ parking on both sides, sidewalks at the property line, and curb extensions at intersections. The project would cost about $1 million.

A staff report says the fire department does not favour the idea because vehicles parked further into the roadway will impede firefighters’ ability to pull hose from a hydrant to a property.

Council also directed staff to apply for grant funding through the Canada Infrastructure Program – COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream, which could cover the entire cost of the project.

Four metres will suffice

•The Comox Valley Cycling Coalition had asked that a multi-use bridge proposed for 6th Street be widened from four to 4.8 metres. The group feels a four-metre design width is not enough to separate cyclists and pedestrians. Council, however, opted to stick with four metres.

“Separation doesn’t necessarily seem to lead to safer circumstances that are expected,” Coun. Will-Cole Hamilton said.

Coun. David Frisch is confident the project would be a significant upgrade to the city’s Active Transportation Network.

A multi-use bridge at 6th would provide a cycling/pedestrian connection between downtown and Simms Park. If council decides to proceed, staff recommends constructing the bridge in 2022, after the Fifth Street Bridge is rehabilitated. Construction would cost around $4 million, and last five to seven months.

Speed limits, safety signage

•Coun. Wendy Morin forwarded a motion for staff to research the impact of safety measures, such as speed limits and signage, in other communities, and that pilots these measures on the Airpark/Riverway Trail and the steep section of the McDonald Road/Lerwick Road area.

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