RDN asks for public input on future of active transportation links in French Creek

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The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is asking for public input on future active transportation infrastructure upgrades in French Creek.

Active transportation includes 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, the RDN said it will review existing active transportation conditions, engage the public to gain further insights into the barriers of using 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.”

There will be two phases of public engagement. The first phase 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.

The RDN said walking and cycling are common recreational activities in French Creek, but few use the area as a connection route between Qualicum Beach and Parksville for commuting or other purposes, due to a lack of sidewalks, lack of wide shoulders on the roads and limited trail networks. It said 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 seniors 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, RDN director for Electoral Area G. “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.”

Residents and visors to the French Creek area can visit getinvolved.rdn.ca/think-active-transportation to complete the survey, provide ideas, participate in the interactive map and learn more about the project. The survey is open until Aug. 22, 2021.

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