Pedestrian and Cycling Masterplan Endorsed

Over the past two years, the Salt Spring Island Transportation Commission (SSITC) and Island Pathways have been working with other community volunteers and the CRD Active Transportation group to integrate Salt Spring into the Regional Pedestrian and Cycling Masterplan (PCMP). CRD and the SSITC contracted North America’s leading consultants on active transportation Alta Planning + Design to draft the Plan. CRD Director Wayne McIntyre took the Plan to the CRD Board in December 2013 where it was endorsed.

At the request of the CRD, a group of community volunteers came together to act as a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) to provide feedback on the evolution of the PCMP SSI Edition. Eight individuals were willingly recruited to the task based on their personal or organizational experience and expertise related to the cycling environment on SSI. Building on Island Pathways’ 25 years of active transportation advocacy, cycling surveys, route maps and safety initiatives, the TAC met regularly with CRD and its consultants throughout the drafting phase and provided a broad community voice on all aspects of the masterplan.

It was nothing less than remarkable that the PCMP was produced for a total cost of $11,000 with all due credit to the CRD, to Alta Planning + Design and to the committed group of volunteers on Salt Spring.

The SSI PCMP has just been published and is available online.

The Plan offers an update to the existing cycling Salt Spring network in the Official Community Plan and will help the CRD, the Islands Trust, the Ministry of Transportation, BC Transit, BC Ferries and the SSITC identify and prioritize pedestrian and cycling-related infrastructure investments over the next decade.

The SSI Edition identifies a bikeway network on Salt Spring that, when completed over time, will meet the needs of cyclists of all ages and abilities. The design guidelines for the network will also support pedestrians by making it more attractive to walk and will accommodate those with mobility challenges.

There is a specific focus in the Plan on investments that will enhance safety, increase connectivity between key community destinations and support the tourism industry. Enhanced amenities and infrastructure, in addition to educational activities and capacity building initiatives, will support residents and visitors alike.

Further, the Plan integrates Salt Spring Island into an inter-regional active transportation network that, when completed, will serve the travel, fitness, recreation, health, economic, and environmental well-being of the Salish Sea region of British Columbia.

“The PCMP: Salt Spring Island Edition recognizes our unique island context and helps identify short and long term investments that can improve community health and economic development,” says Wayne McIntyre, CRD Director. “It provides an excellent basis for future enhancements to pedestrian and cycling infrastructure and focuses on utilizing our existing roads to support active transportation for residents and visitors.”

Now that the plan is complete, the SSI Transportation Commission and Island Pathways can begin investigating grants and funding opportunities for projects in 2014 to make walking and cycling irresistible on Salt Spring such as wayfinding signage and cycling skills training.

Do not hesitate at any time to contact the SSITC or Island Pathways with any questions you may have about the PCMP or broader transportation issues on Salt Spring.

Donald McLennan, A/ Chair Brenda Guiled, Chair
Salt Spring Island Transportation Commission Island Pathways
145 Vesuvius Bay Road P.O. Box 684, Ganges Stn
Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 1K3 Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2W3
tel: (250) 537-4448 Tel: 250-653-4722
res: (250) 538-5567

January 9, 2014 8:12 PM