Opinions still divided about bike lanes in Courtenay

Courtenay council will revisit the idea of painting bicycle lanes on Fitzgerald Avenue when city staff reports back on the issue.

Courtenay council will revisit the idea of painting bicycle lanes on Fitzgerald Avenue when city staff reports back on the issue for which $80,000 has been budgeted.

At Monday’s meeting, Coun. Jon Ambler reminded council it has already been briefed on the subject.

“What’s changed?” he said.

Last summer, council decided to set aside money for a cycling lane following a public meeting about retrofit ideas on Fitzgerald. There are two options for cycling lanes, both of which would calm traffic, says city staff.

One option is painting 1.5-metre lanes on each side of the street. A second option is a two-way cycle track on one side of the avenue, possibly with a cement barrier separating it from traffic. Both options would stretch between Second and 26th streets.

Mayor Larry Jangula said it his job to respond to public concern about a designated bike lane on Fitzgerald. He suggests the Rotary Trail, or Rails With Trails that will eventually extend from Courtenay to Victoria next to the railway tracks on the E&N corridor, might be a safer commuter option.

“I think it’s something worth taking a second look at,” Jangula said, noting $80,000 is a hefty sum.

While she considers the Rotary Trail an important project, Coun. Ronna-Rae Leonard feels it does not deal with cycling connectivity in the same manner as Fitzgerald, which is a through street.

Coun. Starr Winchester, who has mixed feelings about a bike lane on Fitzgerald, would like further discussion on the subject. She supports the Rotary Trail, which takes traffic away from Fitzgerald.

Coun. Doug Hillian, who cycles along Fitzgerald on his way to work, notes the City plan designates it as a cycling route. Using the Rotary Trail for commuting purposes does not make sense, he added.

A transportation planning exercise is coming forward.

In Comox, the Town started developing cycling lanes several years ago when the Province made funding available for towns with populations less than 15,000 people. This enabled bike lane work on Guthrie Road and Stewart Street.

Federal gas tax funds and provincial money paved the way to a bike lane along Comox Hill and along the St. Joseph’s Hospital frontage. Comox also has a bike lane along Noel Avenue.

“Give Courtenay credit where it’s due. They have two excellent bikeways on the Sheraton bikeway in East Courtenay and also the Idiens bikeway,” said Comox Mayor Paul Ives, who works in downtown Courtenay.

He feels Fitzgerald is a natural connection with plenty of room for a bike lane.

“It might simply be a matter of putting down some paint and seeing how it works,” Ives said. “It doesn’t require major expenditures.”

Ives considers the Rails With Trails an excellent project, more off-road with its gravel surface, though not as conducive for commuters considering it’s a bit off the beaten track.

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

Just Posted

Kus-kus-sum receives $1 million in provincial funding

New Democrat MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard is welcoming $1 million in provincial funding… Continue reading

Comox Valley Record putting the call out to Snowbirds shutterbugs

David Suther sent in this great pic of the Snowbirds, shot from… Continue reading

Too Good To Be Threw back in downtown Courtenay with second location

The new store opened Tuesday at 456 5th Street

World Community screens This Mountain Life in Courtenay

The awe that mountainous landscapes evoke is universal. World Community presents the… Continue reading

VIDEO: Comox Valley Stage 4 water restrictions lifted

Video explains planning and execution of repair

VIDEO: Driver in bizarre hit-and-run at B.C. car dealership turns herself in

Police believe alcohol was a factor in incident causing estimated $15,000 in damages

Sewer line repair underway at Goose Spit Park in Comox

Wastewater spotted near parking area at bottom of Goose Spit stairs

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

B.C. woman, 76, challenges alcohol-screening laws after failing to give breath sample

Norma McLeod was unable to provide a sample because of her medical conditions

New report on 2017 wildfires calls for better coordination with B.C. First Nations

Tsilhqot’in National Government documents 2017 disaster and lists 33 calls to action

B.C. youth coach banned amid sexual harassment, bullying scandal: Water Polo Canada

Justin Mitchell can’t take part in Water Polo Canada events or clubs

CONTEST ALERT: Win tickets to A Night of Bowie

UPDATE: Congrats to Angela Dawn, who won two ticketas to the show.… Continue reading

Wilson-Raybould: Feds want to just ‘manage the problem’ of Indigenous Peoples

Former federal justice minister speaks at First Nations Justice Council meeting in B.C.

Woman who was chased and tackled after break-in sentenced on Vancouver Island

Natasha Geraldine Harris, 28, was sentenced to time served and will be released from jail

Most Read