Active Commuter Upgrades Completed on 17th Street Corridor

November 29, 2022

Improvements on 17th Street between Fitzgerald and Willemar avenues are complete, making this key link in the Comox Valley’s active transportation network safer and more accessible for people who walk, cycle, and roll. This $1.72 million project is funded through a $1.376 million contribution from the Government of Canada and $344,000 from the Province of British Columbia through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program.

“The Government of Canada is committed to working with our partners to build strong, better connected communities. The now-completed 17th Street Corridor improvement project will contribute to a safer, more accessible active transportation network for the City of Courtenay. The upgrades will allow active commuters to get where they need to go with better separation from traffic, encouraging more people to leverage greener transportation options,” said the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, on behalf of the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities.

“Courtenay is one of the fastest growing communities on Vancouver Island and this forward-thinking upgrade will relieve pressure on the downtown core,” said Nathan Cullen, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “Supporting cyclists and pedestrian pathways increases foot traffic for local businesses while building healthier communities.”

Upgrades through the 17th Street Corridor Improvement project completed in 2021 and 2022 include:

  • new sidewalks from Rotary Trail to Fitzgerald Avenue
  • shorter road crossing distances and new pedestrian-controlled flashing beacons
  • on-street parking maintained
  • curb-protected cycle tracks from Rotary Trail to Fitzgerald Avenue
  • painted, parking-protected bike lanes from Willemar Avenue to Rotary Trail
  • new trees planted on 17th Street at McPhee Avenue

Mayor Bob Wells said the upgraded corridor will benefit all commuters. “This project increases separation between vehicles and people traveling on foot, by bike, and with mobility aids, and makes pedestrians more visible. This is even more important as our daylight hours get shorter in fall and winter, for people travelling to school, work, the grocery store, and beyond – and our local bike stores tell me seniors represent the fastest-growing number of e-bike users, opening up a whole new demographic of cyclists in Courtenay. We’re truly grateful for the grant funding which made this project possible.”

The 17th Street Corridor Improvement Project helps connect the Rotary Trail and the Fitzgerald Avenue and 19th Street bike lanes leading to the Courtenay Riverway, building the active transportation network in west Courtenay. With active travel options encouraging healthy lifestyles, the project was endorsed by School District No. 71, and benefits students, parents, and teachers traveling to Courtenay Elementary and connecting to other local pathways.

As 17th Street is an arterial transportation route, separating bikes and pedestrians from vehicles is especially important. Design considerations included the needs of all modes of transportation using the corridor, including emergency and farm vehicles.

Improving connections for people who walk, cycle, and roll has been a strategic priority for the City of Courtenay for many years. The Connecting Courtenay: Transportation Master Plan and Cycling Network Plan, adopted in 2019 following comprehensive input from community partners and the public, identified a number of gaps in the existing cycling network, including 17th Street.

To learn more about the 17th Street Corridor Improvement project, visit 

17th Street - looking east to Fitzgerald Avenue


17th Street - new trees at McPhee Avenue


Pedestrian-controlled crosswalk west of McPhee, near Rotary Trail


New curb-protected cycle track - west toward McPhee Avenue