Courtenay council. Top row, from left: Manno Theos, Bob Wells, David Frisch and Doug Hillian. Bottom: Rebecca Lennox, Larry Jangula and Erik Eriksson.

Exhibit contains double meaning

The Kumugwe Cultural Society has appealed to Courtenay council to support a public art exhibition called Potlatch 67-67, slated for the summer at the Comox Valley Art Gallery. The numbers signify the Anti Potlatch Law, which was implemented in 1884 and lasted 67 years. This year marks 67 years since the ban was lifted.

“This is about education, so they (public) have a better understanding of us as people,” Rob Everson, a member of the K’ómoks First Nation, said in a presentation to council Monday.

The exhibit will feature new work by 13 contemporary Indigenous artists.

The society is looking for support to meet 10 per cent of its $100,000 budget. Members plan to meet with other Valley municipalities.

•What appeared to be obstacles wound up increasing traffic flow at Fifth and Fitzgerald during a ‘pop up’ pilot project at the downtown intersection. Cones were placed on the road to reduce crossing distance for pedestrians, but did not impact vehicle performance, according to City staff.

“We were pleasantly surprised by the results,” said Ryan O’Grady, director of engineering services.

The study helped prepare for construction of the Fifth Street ‘Complete Street’ project from Fitzgerald to Menzies. It will include new surfacing for two vehicle lanes, on-street parking, dedicated bike lanes on each side of the street, and rain gardens. Mayor Larry Jangula is disappointed that power lines will remain above ground. Coun. Erik Eriksson would prefer to see bike lanes that allow cyclists to pass, or ride side-by-side. Coun. Doug Hillian said the time has passed for debate because the project is about to go to tender.

Construction is slated to start in April and finish in fall.

•Crown Isle residents have complained about truck traffic in their neighbourhood, but the City says Royal Vista Way and Crown Isle Drive are collector roads that allow truck traffic. Residents have suggested re-routing trucks to Atlas Road via Ryan and Anderton roads. Council, however, feels all neighbourhoods need to be treated equally.

“And it wouldn’t be fair or reasonable to limit truck traffic only in Crown Isle,” a statement says.

Staff note that the Crown Isle developer has agreed to route deliveries of golf course fuel through their private property, and to route as much construction traffic as possible through a gated, unnoccupied section of Atlas.

•Council approved a David Frisch motion to add Courtenay’s name to a growing list of supporters of a Communities on the Move declaration — an initiative of the BC Healthy Living Alliance that includes recommendations about accelerating the development of world-class transportation systems in communities. It suggests a $100 million investment over 10 years to develop cycling and walking infrastructure. Frisch’s motion calls for the City to submit a resolution to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities AGM to ask the province to implement the recommendations. Eriksson feels $100 million could be better spent on recreational and other opportunities. Manno Theos also opposed the motion.

•The Feb. 5 council meeting will include a 5 p.m. public hearing about a pair of multi-residential developments at Second and Menzies. Neighbours are concerned about increased traffic at Second, a rear laneway, a lack of off-street parking and unsafe sight lines along Menzies.

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