The Comox Valley Regional District’s newest bike and pedestrian trail is officially open. The Hawkins Greenway provides a year-round active transportation route connecting Goose Spit park to the surrounding neighbourhood and to the Town of Comox. The project cost of $250,000 was entirely financed by the federal Gas Tax Fund transfer.
“Our government is proud to invest in infrastructure projects that create jobs, promote growth and build strong, prosperous communities across Canada,” Vancouver Island North MP John Duncan said. “This new trail allows residents of all ages to enjoy a safe and scenic walk or bike ride to Goose Spit park. It is a wonderful addition to this beautiful area.”
The trail is 1.1 kilometres long and 2.2 metres wide in most sections. It has a gravel surface with pavement along the steep section at Hawkins Road Hill. The trail will make pedestrian and cycling travel safer along Hawkins Road, which has no shoulders or sidewalks.
“By providing safer routes, residents are encouraged to leave their vehicles at home and walk or cycle through their neighbourhoods to Goose Spit park,” said Edwin Grieve, CVRD board chair. “This results in health benefits to residents as well as a reduction of local greenhouse gas emissions.”
The greenway ends at the intersection of Balmoral and Torrence roads. From there, pedestrians and cyclists can access the trail system in MacDonald Wood and Mack Laing parks. Hawkins Greenway also connects to the Summer, Croteau Beach and Nob Hill greenways.Pedestrians can follow 2km or 2.8km walking loops through the neighbourhood starting at MacDonald Wood or Goose Spit park. A map is available at www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/goosespit.
“This community trail is such a great way to connect Comox Valley residents with their parks, neighbourhoods, other trail networks and green spaces, and with their families and friends,” said Comox Valley MLA Don McRae. “It’s an investment in accessible active living and is a significant addition to the Valley’s network of greenways for this and future generations to enjoy.”
“The Gas Tax Fund is helping local governments provide more travel options for local residents,” said Union of B.C. Municipalities president Mary Sjostrom. “I am thankful for the funding provided through this federal transfer program to communities across B.C.”
The gas tax transfer provides long-term funding to municipalities to build and revitalize infrastructure. The government of Canada has invested more than $10 billion through this program, and passed legislation to make it a permanent transfer of $2 billion per year. As part of Economic Action Plan 2013, government committed to index the fund to provide additional funding for communities starting next year. Between 2006 and 2014, B.C. will receive more than $1.56 billion from the fund.