The Regional District of Nanaimo is working to implement upgrades to the active transportation infrastructure within the unincorporated community of French Creek.
Electoral Area G (French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum, Englishman River) residents are invited to provide their input on active transportation, which encompasses all human powered forms of travel including walking, cycling, in-line skating and skateboarding as well as compatible electric forms such as e-bikes and mobility scooters.
Over summer and fall 2021, the RDN will review existing active transportation conditions, engage the public to gain further insights into the barriers of using these different modes of active transportation and discuss options for enhancements. The review and public input will help develop potential active transportation network plans and implementation recommendations.
“This project aligns with the RDN’s transportation and transit strategic priority which aims to provide residents with more opportunities to move effectively through and around the region,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair. “It also supports the RDN’s climate change, environmental stewardship and social well-being strategic goals as access to more active transportation options means fewer car trips, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, greater interaction between community members, improved public health and more.”
Walking and cycling are common recreational activities in French Creek but few use the area as a connection route between the Town of Qualicum Beach and the City of Parksville for commuting or other purposes, due to a lack of sidewalks or wide shoulders on the roads and limited trail networks. More active transportation options will help increase non-motorized traffic to local and nearby amenities such as public transit hubs, recreation facilities, parks, grocery stores, schools, workplaces and senior’s housing.
“Residents in French Creek are eager to provide their input and help shape the future of active transportation options in our community,” said Lehann Wallace, Electoral Area G director. “Additional infrastructure will help make active transportation safer and more easily accessible in French Creek and encourage more area residents and visitors alike to travel in our community and between neighbouring municipalities using alternate modes of transport.”
There will be two phases of public engagement. The first will focus on gathering information from the public around topics such as how they get to key destinations, what issues they face while travelling and what would enable them to travel more actively. The second phase later in the year will gather public feedback on active transportation options. The project, along with an implementation strategy for the preferred options, will be included as an amendment to the Electoral Area G Official Community Plan.
If you live within the French Creek area or travel through it, visit getinvolved.rdn.ca/think-active-transportation to complete the survey, provide your ideas, participate in the interactive map and learn more about the project. The survey is open until Aug. 22.
— NEWS Staff, submitted