Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a transportation master plan?
- Why is a transportation master plan needed?
- What is the process for developing the plan?
- How would the City fund these changes to the transportation network?
- Who decides whether the recommendations are approved?
- How were the recommendations for a third river crossing at 21st Street developed?
- I haven’t provided input yet, is it too late?
- Where can I find more information?
What is a transportation master plan?
A transportation master plan assesses current and future demands and needs for transportation within a community and creates a vision and priorities to work towards. How people travel around their community, where they travel and how long it takes, all contribute to how communities plan transportation infrastructure like roads, bike lanes, and sidewalks. Based on public input, best practices, meetings with stakeholders, and technical assessment, the Connecting Courtenay: Transportation Master Plan will identify existing issues, model future impacts, and identify long-term improvement opportunities. The resulting five and 10 years investment priorities will be set based on Council’s direction.
Why is a transportation master plan needed?
Courtenay has doubled in population over the past 25 years. As a community changes, so do the transportation needs of the community. A transportation master plan guides priorities for future investment, responds to changing transportation trends, and supports the aspirations of the community. Ultimately, the transportation master plan will also position the City with senior governments for funding and partnership opportunities.
What is the process for developing the plan?
Based on Council’s direction, the following schedule has been undertaken;
Phase 1: Fall 2017 - Collection and review of data, relevant reports and previous studies, as well as analysis of the existing road network, cycling and pedestrian conditions. Land use data was also analyzed to inform future forecasting. Modelling of the current system and potential options were analyzed by transportation engineers using current tools and technology that were not available for previous studies.
Phase 2: Spring 2018 – Involved condition assessments, identifying long term possibilities for guiding transportation decisions, policies and investments over the next 20+ years. Public consultation included an online survey, open house, dedicated stakeholder meetings, social media campaign, and engagement booths throughout the community including the Lewis Centre, Driftwood Mall, and North Island College. Nearly 1,000 people participated in the first phase of public consultation, generating thousands of suggestions for how the transportation network could be improved. The City also met with other Comox Valley local governments, K’ómoks First Nation, and other regional stakeholders and agencies to share and discuss the technical data and public input. The public engagement summary for the first of the two phases is available on the City website at www.courtenay.ca/connectingcourtenay
Phase 3: In process - In June 2018, based on technical analysis in combination with stakeholder and public input to date, a number of recommendations and proposed network plans for all modes were shared for public feedback via an Open House, engagement booths, and an online survey. The feedback is now being reviewed and final recommendations will be presented to City Council later this summer. The Phase 3 public engagement summary will be available in the coming weeks.
How would the City fund these changes to the transportation network?
Council will consider the draft Transportation Master Plan later this summer, however funding decisions will be made by future Councils as part of setting City Strategic priorities and the resulting staff capacity implications. Once further information is available, initiatives may be further investigated and become part of the annual budgeting process. A transportation master plan helps guide long-term financial planning for the City and better positions the City for senior government funding and partnership opportunities.
Who decides whether the recommendations are approved?
After providing direction on the engagement plan and project delivery, Council has received updates at various stages in the process and the final recommendations will be presented to City Council in early fall. Council will consider the Plan or overall adoption at this time, however decisions regarding proceeding with specific recommendations and funding will be made by future Councils as part of the annual budgeting process.
How were the recommendations for a third river crossing at 21st Street developed?
As part of two phased public engagement process over the past six months, over 1,000 Courtenay residents provided feedback on what they would like to see for transportation infrastructure in Courtenay, and then most recently citizens were consulted on several draft recommendations proposed by the transportation engineering consultants. A new river crossing at 21st Street was one was one of several long-term recommendations proposed in response to current and future transportation modelling, which indicates that downtown bridges and some major routes are over-capacity at peak times and congestion will increase in future years without additional capacity.
The need for an additional crossing solicited varying opinions during the consultation process undertaken earlier this year.
At the Monday, August 20, 2018 Council meeting, Courtenay City Council passed a motion that removes a proposed 21st Street river crossing from consideration in the draft Connecting Courtenay Transportation Master Plan that is currently under development.
The proposed 21st River crossing had been informed by public feedback received in Phases 2 & 3 of the 2018 Connecting Courtenay Master Transportation Plan. The public feedback helped prioritize recommendations for network improvements. A variety of improvements were assessed to improve safety across all modes, reduce congestion and better connect people to key destinations. Growth pressures on the crossings, downtown and northeast areas, as well specifically Ryan Road and Highway 19A Bypass were areas of concern for many residents. Specifically, the limited river crossings, congested traffic flow and adjacent intersections were mentioned.
A combination of previous decisions and studies along with technical review in 2018 removed several crossing options from further consideration in Courtenay due to impacts and/or changes to localized conditions (including 3rd Street, 6th Street, 8th Street, 11th Street, 13th Street, 19th Street, and 20th Street). The remaining crossing alternatives at 21st Street and 29th Street were further considered at a high level based on forecast traffic patterns, preliminary feasibility, as well as potential community and environmental impacts. The preliminary investigations and stakeholder meetings resulted in eliminating 29th Street from further review largely based on the reduced traffic diversion that would be expected, as well as the significant costs and high environmental impacts.
I haven’t provided input yet, is it too late?
While the formal consultation process has now closed, and the input is being reviewed to inform final recommendations, you are welcome to contact the project team at firstname.lastname@example.org
Where can I find more information?
You can find everything related to the project at www.courtenay.ca/connectingcourtenay