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LETTER - Who’s responsible for buffering the bike lanes?

Dear editor,
The north side of Ryan Road between Back and Sandwick roads contains a paved shoulder with a ditch and bus stop, but no sidewalk. Scott Stanfield photo

Dear editor,

On Oct. 27, a story was published with the title: Courtenay sidewalk proposal subject to ministry approval.

This sentence jumped out at me: “The ministry supports the need for a sidewalk, but not a cycling lane because it does not allow buffered bike lanes on MoTI roads.”

I know that the current provincial government has made active transportation a priority and so I found this surprising. Ryan Road separates heavily populated residential areas from commercial and recreational facilities in the centre of Courtenay and so I feel that it would be a shame to invest any money into improving that section of road without also providing for a bike lane.

I wrote to the ministry to ask for clarification and their response can be found below. As you can see, it looks like they would be very interested in exploring a bike lane. This is the key part of their response:

“The ministry would be happy to consider a bike lane on Ryan Road if the City of Courtenay decides to proceed with one. In B.C., the installation of buffered or separated cycling infrastructure is driven by municipalities, and the ministry has not yet received a formal proposal from the city for this location. The city would need to provide design drawings and enter into a maintenance agreement.”

It would appear that there has been some type of miscommunication. I strongly urge council to consider the addition of a bike lane if they are considering any investment in upgrading Ryan Road.

Steven Jones,