A pedestrian signal will be installed at Ryan Road and Cowichan Avenue. Scott Stanfield photo

A pedestrian signal will be installed at Ryan Road and Cowichan Avenue. Scott Stanfield photo

Safety enhancements coming to Ryan Road in Courtenay

People who live and work in Courtenay will soon have a safer, more accessible pedestrian crossing at Ryan Road and Cowichan Avenue with the installation of a new pedestrian signal.

“The ministry worked with the City of Courtenay and other stakeholders who identified this project as a priority for the people in their community,” Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said in a news release. “The new signal will make it safer and easier for pedestrians, cyclists and people with mobility challenges to cross and access the local college and amenities.”

READ: Pedestrian crossing to be installed at crest of hill on Courtenay thoroughfare

The signal will help pedestrians and cyclists cross the Ryan Road corridor, and over to North Island College and the Comox Valley Aquatic Centre. The existing concrete islands will be replaced to improve pedestrian safety, and will include wheelchair accessible ramps. Cyclists will benefit from dedicated push buttons adjacent to Cowichan Avenue, and the intersection will be repainted.

“I’m happy to see improvements on the way that will allow people to more safely cross over busy Ryan Road to North Island College, the hospital and the aquatic centre,” Courtenay-Comox MLA Ronna-Rae Leonard said. “Improved safety at this spot will allow people to more easily cross on foot and will help encourage more people to use active transport like cycling in our community.”

Construction will begin next week, and is expected to be complete early April. The ministry estimates the work to cost $300,000.

The decision to install a pedestrian crossing was made in consultation with the City of Courtenay, and supports the city’s transportation master plan.

“Through extensive consultation in recent years for Courtenay’s transportation master plan, it was made clear to us that Ryan Road was an area of concern for people who walk, cycle and use mobility aids, particularly with the number of students in and around this area,” Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells said. “Our council is thankful that the ministry took these concerns seriously and grateful they are moving this crosswalk project forward for the benefit of our community.”

Drivers are reminded to obey construction zone speed limits and the direction of traffic control personnel. For the most up-to-date information before travel, check DriveBC.ca

Provincial construction sites have protocols and policies in place following requirements of the provincial health officer to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include physical distancing and other protocols to ensure worker and public safety. The ministry will work closely with contractors and WorkSafeBC to ensure health and safety are maintained for all workers on site.

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