The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is pleased to share the results
of the Cortes Island Active Transportation Planning project, completed by Urban Systems Ltd on behalf of the SRD. This information will be incorporated into the updated Official Community Plan and zoning bylaws for Cortes Island, with that work to commence in 2023.
This study launched in January 2022 and combined in-field data collection with an extensive public engagement process, including a survey, a virtual engagement session with area stakeholders, an in-person workshop on Cortes Island, and a community lunch with the Klahoose First Nation. Several key themes and areas of concern emerged from this study, including:
-A desire to safely walk and cycle on Cortes Island, particularly between the three main village areas, as well as from Squirrel Cove and Klahoose First Nation to Whaletown Ferry.
-Major roadways and most shoulders on Cortes Island are inadequate for walking and cycling.
• Pedestrians and cyclists feel unsafe sharing the road with motor vehicles traveling at the current speed limit, particularly given the narrow, winding character of the roads on Cortes Island.
• Road shoulders are frequently too narrow, without lighting, with asphalt in poor condition, and covered in debris that can be a risk for people on bicycles as well as motorists.
• Whaletown Road and Carrington Bay Road, Gorge Harbour Road at Seaford Road, and Sutil Point Road south of Mansons Landing were identified as specific areas where safety is a concern.
-Minor roads and off-road trails support travel by active modes, particularly around the southern part of Cortes Island and the Siskin Forest Trail network.
-There is community interest to improve the safety and experience for pedestrians and cyclists on Cortes Island. Suggestions from the community include:
•Separate or dedicated pathways for walking and cycling, such as dedicated bike lanes, ‘share the road’ type signage, widening and other road shoulder improvements, and off-road trails that parallel the roadway or otherwise support non-recreational use.
•Lowering posted speed limits or introducing traffic calming measures in areas frequented by different types of road users, such as around Mansons Landing.
Development of policy in the Official Community Plan for Cortes Island is likely to further support the SRD’s efforts to improve active transportation conditions for the community by setting clear direction for the future of the island through both land use and strategic transportation policy.
“We appreciate the community’s involvement in this study and their desire to improve the safety and experience of pedestrians and cyclists on Cortes Island,” said Brad Unger, Chair of the Regional Board. “This project was fully funded through the Union of BC Municipalities’ Active Transportation Planning (ATP) grant program, which helps local governments add active transportation elements into planning documents (such as an OCP) and identify opportunities to improve existing active transportation networks. “
For more information about this project, please visit www.srd.ca/cortes-active-transportation-planning
Meredith Starkey - SRD Manager, Planning and Parks 778-346-9143 mstarkeysrd.ca
Aniko Nelson – SRD Senior Manager, Community Services 250-830-6708 anelsonsrd.ca