New funding secured for Bishops Walk to Drake Road trail upgrade project

The Capital Regional District’s (CRD) Salt Spring Island Parks and Recreation Commission (PARC) recently received $90,127 in funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream (ICIP-CVRIS). Thanks in part to this funding, PARC is moving ahead with the Drake Road Trail Upgrade Project.

The Drake Road (Bishops Walk) Trail is a connector trail starting at Cypress View Road through to Drake Road where users can then access Salt Spring Commons, Mouat Park and the downtown core. The trail is approximately 480 m long by 1.8 m wide and is a multi-use community trail.

“This announcement comes on the heels of us completing our final phase of Salt Spring Commons, a new affordable housing project owned by Salt Spring Island Community Services. Upgrades to this established pedestrian trail will provide residents and neighbours year-round walking opportunities.” - Rob Grant, Executive Director of Salt Spring Island Community Services

During winter months or following heavy rains, sloped sections of the trail become flooded, resulting in the trail being inaccessible for users. This project will address the drainage issues on the trail through a Storm Water Management plan which will include recommendations for trail materials and will improve drainage and direct runoff water away from the trail. Detailed designs have been completed and construction work is expected to start this fall.

“Active transportation contributes to emission savings, improved health and safer roads. This trail upgrade is part of PARC’s plan to develop an interconnected network of exceptional trails across the island.” - Gary Holman, Salt Spring Island Electoral Area Director

PARC is responsible for providing and maintaining community parks, trails, water access points, and facilities and also provides recreation programs and services to the communities of Salt Spring Island.

“Improvements to the Drake Road Trail on Salt Spring Island will help ensure that it remains safe and accessible for everyone to enjoy. These improvements will give people reasons to get outside and walk downtown or to Mouat Park on this popular local trail. Throughout the pandemic, interest in the outdoors, and in hiking in particular has grown as people hit the trails to stay active and healthy, while keeping their distance from others. Investments in active transportation infrastructure are an investment in people and benefits everyone living in the community and visitors alike.” - Melanie Mark, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport

CRD and PARC thank the governments of Canada and British Columbia for the approved funding through ICIP-CVRIS. Repairing this connector trail will benefit the Salt Spring Island community.

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By Salt Spring News

Salt Spring Exchange news and editorial account for general public news, community contributed stories and official news releases.

October 18, 2021 8:58 AM

  • Karen Olsson says:

    Wonderful news! We use this trail as it is very near where we live and provides a healthier and safer way to get to Ganges than walking on the Ganges hill. and Moat's Park. The upgrades would make the trail safe year round. Thanks!!

  • Craig Hickson says:

    This is false advertising. They say the upgrade will bring the ability for everyone to use it. This is simply not true. This will allow those without mobility issues to use the trail. Not even the new trails from central are mobility scooter friendly. Inclines are way too steep and the surfacing doesn’t allow for traction. As well the vibration travelling over the surface cause unbearable pain for those suffering from chronic pain. Causing those with mobility scooters to still use the road. Pathways and trails are not built for everyone. Just the able bodied.

  • sheryl says:

    I agree with the comment about accessibility being limited to those who can climb up and down. The trail is not accessible to anyone who can't walk easily.

    But these improvements will make the trail usable year round which previously it was not.