The challenging issues the regional district faces with pedestrian infrastruture in rural areas was raised by Regional District of Nanaimo directors at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver.
The RDN, led by chair Bill Veenhof, discussed this concern when they met with the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena.
They highlighted the current challenges with urban pressures around amenities and infrastructure for pedestrians that also include paths, sidewalks and trails that are within MoTI allowances.
Specific local areas mentioned in the meeting, where improved connectivity and safe passage are needed, included Coombs Market, Cedar, Fairwinds, Bowser and Gabriola Island.
“We were reassured by the minister that we are not alone in the province with our concerns to improve active transportation connections within our community, and she confirmed we will work together on this initiative moving forward,” said Veenhof.
“The Regional District of Nanaimo looks forward to working collaboratively with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure in finding solutions for our region and others throughout B.C.”
An example where the RDN would like to formally establish a roadside path is on Gabriola Island. The intention of this project, now known as Village Way, is to develop a path separate from the road that would improve overall connectivity as well as provide for safe pedestrian passage.
“Developing and approving Village Way is important for residents on Gabriola to safely connect to the village core,” said RDN Area Director B Howard Houle.
“To work together with MoTI to find a way to make this happen for our region is timely. It also closely aligns with one of our current strategic priorities to recognize community mobility and recreational amenities as core services.”
— NEWS staff/RDN submission