Having had an opportunity to bike in a variety of countries, I find myself lamenting the fact that we have done little here in the Valley to encourage people to leave their car at home in favour of their bicycle.
Time and time again studies have shown that merely painting a bike lane on the road does little to encourage all but the hardcore cyclists to use it. To encourage the rest of us requires separating the walking/biking lanes completely from automobile traffic.
Here in the Valley it seems we have lots of painted bike lanes but with little utilization. Where we do have a dedicated trail, the Airpark Walkway in Courtenay, it serves little use for commuters as it goes essentially nowhere.
It doesn’t take long to figure out that the most popular trail to build would be one between Courtenay and Comox through the old sawmill property and along the waterfront, utilizing a boardwalk and pilings to circumvent housing and development and tying in to the existing road at the bottom of Beach Drive. What an amazing trail this could be! Such a trail would require agreement from the Comox First Nation Band and other stakeholders along the way.
Traffic on the busy Dyke Road would be reduced over time and it could become a showplace tourist attraction for our Valley, with its incredible views and sunny outlook.
The present Comox Road bike lane can be a harrowing experience for the average walker and biker with the narrow pedestrian lane, high curb height, speeding traffic and the steep hill into Comox.
Let’s call a halt to the “trails to nowhere” and get behind a meaningful estuary trail along the water to Comox!