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Comox Valley group proposes new cycling route between Courtenay and Cumberland

A Comox Valley group has proposed a separate cycling route between Courtenay and Cumberland to the Village of Cumberland council.

Spencer Cappallo, board member of the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition, and Debbie Bowman, president of the Comox Valley Rotary Club, presented to council yesterday, proposing a safer route for cyclists.

Key reasons for the route included commuting, access to shops, employment, education, and promoting active transportation for residents of both areas.

Cappallo says cyclists are already taking that route, through the parkway.

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“The parkway has shoulders, which is great, but they are full of debris, and parked cars, so you have to go out into the lane, which is posted 80, but most are going north of 100,” says Cappallo.

“There are on-ramps and off-ramps you would have to go through, and some bad junctions, so it’s not a really safe environment to cycle on.”

They are also asking for focus on a two-pronged approach, with Cappallo presenting a short-term and long-term goal for this route.

“For the short-term, we want to identify a better route than the parkway to protect cyclists, and the long-term is to push for an all-ages, all-abilities route to Courtenay,” says Cappallo.

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“When I think of all ages, all abilities, I’m thinking your eight-year-old kid and your 80- year-old parent, they can both go cycling and you won’t have to be worried.”

Cappallo adds that similar routes have happened, with one between Tofino and Ucluelet, and another in Victoria. Both he and Bowman want to see Cumberland take the push forward for this route to be built.

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