COURTENAY, B.C- A fourth river crossing could be considered as an option in an ongoing transportation study for Courtenay.
A private company, Urban Systems, has been contracted by the city’s municipal government to work on a long-term plan for transportation development in the community. The work is ongoing, and on Monday evening, city council received an update from John Steiner, a principal consultant with the company.
According to the information that Steiner presented, the transportation plan is still early in it’s development, though there have been high levels of engagement with city residents.
Issues such as a lack of good walking paths and trails, as well as no “comfortable river crossing” for cyclists were brought up in feedback from residents. High collision areas such as the 17th Street Bridge and Ryan Road were also found to be topics of concern.
As for the improvements the company might suggest for Courtenay’s road network, Steiner’s presentation mentioned the possibility of new roadways, new crossings, and widening of existing routes.
After his presentation was finished, Steiner fielded questions from council, with mayor Larry Jangula taking issue with what he perceived as too much focus on walking and cycling in the work done on the transportation plan so far.
Reached after the meeting, Jangula voiced a desire for more of a focus on improvements to vehicle transportation in the city.
“We spent quite a bit of money on this organization, a lot of money to do this survey,” said Jangula.
“My concern is that it seemed most of the survey was about walking and cycling, which is very important, I’m not saying it’s not, but quite frankly cycling is less than four per cent of the vehicle movements.”
Out of any possible improvements, Jangula wanted to see another bridge.
“It’s a necessity,” said Jangula.
“It’s beyond a nice to have, it’s becoming a necessity. Let’s also bear in mind, that of the three bridges we have across that river, the province has paid for all of them. It’s really the provinces responsibility.”
As for a location, he believed the area around the Courtenay Airpark would be suitable.
“I’d like the area around Mansfield,” said Jangula.
“Eventually, that little airpark is likely going to move down and go somewhere else, and eventually we’re going to look at that area. If you look at a connection, it’s actually absolutely perfect, with the alignment I’m talking about.”
A draft version of the transportation plan is expected to be presented to the public in June.