City Unveils Draft 25 Year Transportation Vision
May 15, 2013
After several months of study and consultation, the City of Courtenay and a team of consultants have developed a draft long-range community transportation plan. Now the City is offering an opportunity to review the plan and provide feedback before the plan is considered by Council and finalized.
On Thursday, May 23 from 6:00 to 7:30 pm, the public is invited to attend a Public Open House at the Florence Filberg Centre Conference Hall. Consultants will provide a brief presentation updating the status of the “25 Year Vision for Multi-Modal Transportation” report. Following the presentation, the public will be able to review display boards and speak to consultants and staff.
Derek Richmond, the City’s manager of engineering, said the plan will help guide Courtenay’s transportation decisions over the coming years and decades. “The vision provided by this document will provide clear direction moving forward,” said Richmond. “It’s a very thorough exercise that will help us determine not only an overall framework for transportation decisions, but also a detailed implementation strategy.”
The transportation plan is being developed by consulting firms Morrison Hershfield and O2 Planning and Design. Covering all modes of transportation, including walking, cycling, and vehicle traffic, the plan examines deficiencies, develops recommendations, identifies priorities, and provides cost estimates for the transportation network.
The goal is to make Courtenay more accessible to those traveling on foot, by bicycle or on transit, while recognizing that driving is an essential mode of transportation for many people. “We need to ensure there are a range of options for people,” noted Richmond. “Walking, cycling and transit don’t just provide environmental benefits. They also support important health, equity and social objectives.
“At the same time, it’s important that people using vehicles to get to work, school, or other purposes have a safe and efficient transportation system, with minimal traffic congestion and delays.”
The document will also support the planning of underground services and utilities, including water and sewer lines. “Our underground infrastructure is incredibly complex and it’s essential that it be properly planned and maintained,” advised Richmond. “By taking the same long-term planning approach to these utilities as we apply to our road network, it will help us be more efficient and apply our funds more effectively.”
Consultation on the plan has included all four local governments, First Nations, the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association, the School District, the Ministry of Transportation, airport, emergency services and transit. The first public open house was held in October, and a survey received over 500 responses. Survey results showed the public was generally satisfied with personal vehicle travel, but there was a level of dissatisfaction with other modes of transportation, including walking, cycling and transit.
The transportation plan is guided by municipal and regional planning documents, including the City’s Official Community Plan (OCP) and the Comox Valley Regional Growth Strategy. In the OCP, Courtenay has committed to reducing community-wide greenhouse gas emission levels 20% by 2020, in part by improved access to alternate travel modes such as walking, cycling and transit.
The final report is scheduled to be completed in June.
For more information, go to www.courtenay.ca or call 250-334-4441.