Courtenay seeking feedback about transportation plan

The City of Courtenay is inviting the community to provide feedback on the development of a new Transportation and Land Use Master Plan.

The City of Courtenay is inviting the community to provide feedback on the development of a new Transportation and Land Use Master Plan.

The plan will guide transportation infrastructure and services in the city over the next 20 years and beyond.

The City will hold an open house Oct. 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Westerly Hotel and Convention Centre, giving the public an opportunity to review information on the plan and provide feedback. There will be further ways to comment through the City’s website.

Derek Richmond, the City’s manager of engineering, said the Transportation and Land Use Master Plan will be an important document with multiple goals.

“We need to plan for future population growth,” he noted. “At the same time, we must ensure that we stick to our goal of a sustainable, accessible and livable city.”

The City has contracted engineering firm Morrison Hershfield Ltd. to oversee the development of the plan. The City and consultant have been working to prepare an initial vision to present to council on Oct. 9.

“This initial vision will act as a starting point for dialogue,” said Richmond.

The plan will look at the bigger picture of how to accommodate the changing needs of pedestrians, cyclists and vehicles within Courtenay while at the same time addressing land use and community development as the city grows. Population and employment trends, and their impact on travel demand, will be incorporated into the results.

The plan’s recommendations will help the City prioritize improvements to transportation infrastructure and provide clear direction to the development community.

The plan will also impact utilities, which generally follow similar routes as road networks. The study will assist in providing a framework for other utility master plans scheduled for completion in 2013. The long-range recommendations will also complement and be guided by existing planning tools such as Regional Growth Strategy, the City’s Official Community Plan, bylaws and zoning, as well as transportation and land use plans from the other Comox Valley local governments.

The project’s first phase, taking place over the next two months, will be crucial to the success of the project. The project team will create an overarching framework for the project, taking into consideration what Courtenay’s transportation requirements, land-use and supporting infrastructure could look like in 20 years and beyond. The second phase will establish details leading to the development of the final plan by January 2013.

“This is going to be a vital exercise,” advised Richmond. “We will need to pull together a large cross section of information and feedback to ensure we plan properly for the future.”

For more information, contact the City of Courtenay Engineering Division at 250-334-4441 or e-mail engineering@courtenay.ca.

— City of Courtenay

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