Question: “Given the increasing prevalence in our Valley of both recreational cycling and cycling as commuting, how will you work to increase safety and improve infrastructure for cyclists?”
Tom Diamond – Comox Mayoral
Thank you for your question.
I believe more and varied transportation options are key to a more vibrant and environmentally friendly future for Comox.
I see a much more ambitious network of off-road pathways that make cycling, walking and scooters – multi-modal transportation – safer and more practical options for commuting and general transportation.
I also see a larger public transit system that will help take the pressure off of vehicle traffic, keeping roadways safer for bicycles, and helping make life in the valley more affordable and accessible to all income levels.
I would also like to coordinate with the other municipalities and the regional district to create a better system of longer range bike paths that connect the whole valley. This could be a real plus for tourism as well as local riders.
Can you envision a cycling circuit that starts in Royston, continues along a well-groomed ocean side bike path separated from motor vehicle roads, that travels all the way to Comox? Imagine when riders get to Comox hill, they put their bikes on a funicular lift that transports them up the steep hill. Then riders continue to the marina where they board a ferry that takes them across our spectacular bay and right back to their car in Royston! This would be a fantastic family-friendly activity and tourism revenue-generating opportunity.
I see a big role in the future of Comox for cycling as a sport, as a commuting option, and as a tourism feature.
Please help me bring this exciting future to Comox by supporting me on voting day, Saturday October 20, 8am to 8pm at the Comox recreation center.
Dr. Tom Diamond
Wendy Morin – Courtenay Council
First off, I really appreciate all the work the Cycling Coalition has done around cycling safety and the Farm Cycle Tour. I hope to take part in the tour in future!
Regarding the question, I am in favour of integrating cycling into the master transportation plan, in a meaningful way. We need to better recognize the role of cycling in mitigating transportation challenges and in promoting the Valley as a destination for cyclists. I would look to people much more knowledgeable than me on this issue, such as yourselves and other council members (such as David Frisch – hoping he will be re-elected!), to help come up with ideas and solutions. We definitely need more cycling lanes and future planning to take into consideration cycling safety and infrastructure.
Thank you for your question,
Will Cole-Hamilton – Courtenay Council
I have been a committed cyclist for decades. I cycle to work most days and take great pleasure in getting around the city by bike.
I thank the the CVCC for taking a lead role in teaching cycling safety. As a member of City Council I would like to work with the CVCC to find out how the City can assist in promoting and supporting this valuable contribution to public safety.
I see the Transportation Master Plan as an opportunity to ensure that cycling infrastructure is a central part of our transportation planning. The Plan focuses on multi-modal transportation (cycling, walking, mobility scooters, transit and private vehicles). I will work to ensure that the final Plan provides safe options for all residents to get around. I also want to work actively with the federal and provincial governments to ensure that Courtenay takes full advantage of any funding available to support future improvements to cycling infrastructure.
Overall, I see supporting cycling as win-win-win – it reduces traffic, keep residents active and healthy and saves the city money (bikes require less infrastructure per trip, and are less hard on the infrastructure they do use thus reducing the need for maintenance and repair).
Thanks to the CVCC for the work that you do for our community.
Vickey Brown – Cumberland Council
Thanks for the opportunity. I’ve had the opportunity to work with the farm cycle tour via the Farmers’ market, and appreciate your work with our schools to provide bike safety education.
I was also an avid cycling commuter in Vancouver so I very much appreciate the work you are doing here in the Valley! My answer is below in blue.
Thanks again for all the work you do!
Cumberland is obviously very bike friendly, but our entrance/exit roads have been challenging for cyclists.
This past year we were able to increase the width of the Cumberland road to increase the safety and comfortability for both walkers and cyclists.
I would advocate for this on the Royston Rd entrance as well.
I would also look into measures (within the development bylaws) we could put in place for new developments to ensure that there is room for bikes to travel those roads as well.
I would also like to see a bike lane from the Village all the way out to Comox Lake.
In general, I am very much in favour of getting people out of their vehicles and onto the streets in whatever form that takes. I think it makes for community building, healthier people and more vibrant streets.
I would do whatever I can to promote/support bike safety education for kids in partnership with our SD71, and infrastructure to integrate cyclists into our transportation system and routes.
Eduardo Uranga – Cumberland Mayoral
I personally am a cycling enthusiast and own a mountain bike and a recumbent bicycle, I wish I had the physical fitness and the body parts intact to always use them. I lived in Whistler and Squamish, where you know, biking is king. Cumberland could become something similar without too much effort.
Have a Park-and-ride parking lot at the entrance of the Village of Cumberland, so people visiting can leave their vehicle there and proceed to the trails or just cycle around the Village without having to worry about where to park and causing congestion. It will make riding a bicycle in Cumberland much safer and less congested. This area will also provide the option for RVing and camping facilities at a very reasonable price.
Reduced Bicycle rental at the Park&Ride sponsored by the Village on a cost recovery basis for visitors to encourage them to leave their car there.
Complete the bike lane on Cumberland Road that ends abruptly at the Gas and Go gas station, to join the other bike lane at Dunsmuir St.
Contract an in-depth study on how to separate pedestrian and bicycle traffic on the trails so there is no conflict on who has the right of way and will prevent the unfortunate incident of a collision between a bicycle and a pedestrian.
Build a pedestrian/bicycle lane from the Park&Ride to the Village avoiding all the main roads, especially Cumberland Rd. so riding into town is done safely and without the concern of having a car next to the rider.
The Village of Cumberland will be a World Class Mountain Biking destination and promote tourism to the Comox Valley, including international promotion campaigns, and work with the local residents to create a pool of accommodation options for people interested in staying more that one day
Alternative transportation into Courtenay with an electric bicycle share station at the Park&Ride, so people can use them instead of their cars to go into Courtenay without having to face the 7 km uphill pedaling, it should be on a cost recovery basis, sponsored by the Village of Cumberland.
I will establish a network of people that commute into Courtenay in their car every day for a Ride-Share program, so several people can go and come back from work, taking turns for driving, with the meeting place at the Park&Ride.
The big one is to propose the closing of Dunsmuir St. from First St. to Fourth St. on weekends to cars so pedestrians and bicycles move around safely and freely.
Cumberland will be a bicycle minded town.
Arzeena Hamir – CVRD B
Thanks for the opportunity to put forward ideas.
I must say, however, that these are not all from me. I have asked friends and family who cycle much more than I do to help me with ideas. If I get elected, I would hope the CVRD would work with the CVCC in a similar way. You are the experts around what needs to be done for cycling infrastructure in the valley.
Adopt policies and standards that require CVRD planners to consider designing roadway improvements to be used safely by all users including bicyclists, pedestrians, transit vehicles, truckers, and motorists
Strengthen police enforcement in areas where high frequency automobile / cycling / pedestrian conflict occurs
Work to reduce the speed limit on roads within the CVRD where there are no shoulders or barrier (such as Coleman Road, Bates Beach, Headquarters and Little River Rd) to: reduce from 80 kph to a speed safer for pedestrians, cyclists & motorists)
Work with the CVCC to provide even more safe cycling training for both students and adults.
Work with CVCC and an organization like NIC to collect data on cycling activities in the CV in order that planning, priority setting & decision making can take place with good information. Using that information we can then install better pedestrian and cyclist facilities, such as marked crosswalks, pedestrian crossing islands, and separated bike lanes
Time to reconsider the 6th st. pedestrian bridge
Thanks again and I look forward to working with the CVCC in the future
Doug Hillian – Courtenay Council
Thanks for the opportunity to respond.
As a cyclist myself and a regular participant in events like Bike to Work week, I regret that we have made so little progress in developing cycling infrastructure in Courtenay. Although I advocated for the bike lanes on Fitzgerald and the separated lanes in our Complete Street pilot project on 5th (which thankfully is nearing completion), we’ve been unsuccessful implementing more lanes to date apart from a few limited sites. We have supported the Rotary trail and maintained the river walkway, but we need to do more.
I am hopeful that the Transportation Master Plan, as intended, will map out a comprehensive cycling network along with a timetable for implementation. We will then be better positioned to allocate budget amounts and seek further grant funding. I see cycling infrastructure as a regular feature in future City budgets, while we also work for more bike parking where required as well as lock up facilities to encourage more cycling commuters.
Of note, City staff and Council members have met on several occasions with officials from the provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to assure that projects like the North Courtenay Connector Bridge have a cycling lane, to advocate for separated cycling lanes on the potential widening of our bridges and the Hwy 19 bypass, and for improved pedestrian and cycling access on Ryan Road. It will be important to maintain such advocacy as these projects move forward.
I appreciate the work of the CVCCo and, if privileged to serve again, look forward to the opportunity to work together over the next four years.
Alex Bissinger – Comox Council
Cycling is a great mode of transportation for so many of us in Comox as it is economical, environmentally friendly, and contributes to making our community healthier. The potential for cycling in the Town of Comox is significant.
In a 2011 Community Survey completed for the Town of Comox Transportation Study it was learned that 57 percent of the respondents lived within 5 km of work or school, a cycleable distance for riders of most abilities. However, a key barrier to cycling that was identified is the lack of bike lanes and interestingly, the creation of bike facilities and cycling connectivity was rated as the highest priority of all transportation initiatives.
As Councillor I would ensure the Town of Comox implement as many of the recommendations and projects from the Transportation Study as possible including:
ensuring appropriate infrastructure is provided
increasing quantity and quality of bike parking
looking at connectivity of bike routes
bike lanes that meet standards in terms of width and delineation
considering ease of combining cycling with other modes of transportation (walking and transit)
amendment to zoning bylaw to promote bicycle supportive facilities (showers and change rooms at offices or stores of more than 10 staff)
partner with local bike shops and cycling groups to create “cycling 101” workshops to promote safety and cycling best practices
The priority for the Town is to develop a sustainable community as outlined in the updated OCP. One of the main principles of a sustainable community, for Comox, is the promotion of cycling, which I absolutely support.
David Frisch – Courtenay Council
Thanks for asking!
Cycling in the Comox Valley is not only becoming more popular, but in fact, presents a significant opportunity to improve the health, wellbeing, and quality of our lives.
The vision I support, includes a network of trails and bike lanes that encourage people of all ages and all abilities to safely travel by bike to school, work, shopping centres, and social hubs. Bike lanes should be protected from traffic on busy streets and would be shared with other alternate travellers, like people using mobility scooters.
My intention is for Council to adopt a 10 year plan to guide staff in budgeting and partnering with the B.C. government’s bike bc grant program to implement the construction of both permanent and temporary bike lanes throughout the city.
I will also continue to work with the Integratyed Regional Transport Select Committee to connect Courtenay to surrounding communities with bike lanes and multi-use pathways.
Councillor, City of Courtenay
Chair, Integrated Regional Transportation Select Committee
Leslie Baird – Cumberland Mayoral
Thank you for your email:
Cumberland has completed the entrance roadwork on the entrance to the Village with bike lanes.
Within the last two years we have completed roadwork on sections of Dunsmuir Ave. (main street) including bike lanes. We hope to complete this project in the next couple of years. We will be applying for grant funding.
Cumberland has supported the transition of the Island Corridor from rail to trails north of Nanaimo.
We have programs through our recreation department and look forward to working with community groups promoting safety issues.
Leslie Baird, Mayor
Village of Cumberland
Brennan Day – Courtenay Council
We have the opportunity to consider bike lanes in the larger context of transportation maintenance and upgrades, rather than as a stand alone issue. If we are repaving roadways or upgrading below ground infrastructure, we should be capturing bike lane upgrades and sidewalk upgrades into the total project. i see projects such as the Willemar underground utility upgrade as a lost opportunity to also improve the infrastructure above ground at the same time.
We need input from the biking community to identify key cycling corridors within a master transportation plan, so that when the time comes to repair/repave that improvements are made for all road users.
Thanks and regards,
Patrick McKenna – Comox Council
Cycling, transit and alternative transportation methods are important to me. i would always welcome the input from the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition as an authoritative body to consult with on important decisions regarding cycling safety and routes in the Valley.
To change the world starts with one step
Starr Winchester – Courtenay Council
In response to your e-mail of Sept 28th, I provide the following response:
I am not a cyclist, but have the greatest amount of respect for all cyclists. Although the City has made progress in the past 10 years with cycling infrastructure I think we started 20 years too late. It’s difficult to “un-do: what was done in the past, but we can make progress moving forward. We must ensure that EVERY new development in Courtenay has the infrastructure to accommodate cycling and walking paths.
I am very much aware that cycling and walking significantly increase the quality of life for our citizens. Although I am not an expert in the field of cycling, I have much respect for the members of the Comox Valley Cycling Coalition and would be willing to work with you, if elected, to improve our cycling and walking infrastructure in Courtenay and the whole Comox Valley.
Thank you for all you do to make our Community a healthier and safer place to live!
Starr Winchester, Candidate for Courtenay Council
Don Davis – Comox Council
I will advocate for and support better road designs to insure that everyone can drive and ride safely on the roads in Comox. I have been very disappointed that some road upgrades, such as Anderton Rd. that were not made wider for motorists, cyclist and pedestrian as well as hand scooters.
Daniel Arbour – CVRD A
Thanks for the question. Anytime there is road improvements we should advocate for the opportunity to make those sections more bike friendly. In rural areas ensuring a bit of extra pavement on the roadsides would also provide more safety for cyclist sharing the road with vehicles at high speeds.
Thanks for the question!
Russ Arnott – Comox Mayoral
– following the leadership of Mayor Ives and the good work we have done in Comox I think it is important we continue to work together to identify the needs and how we go about funding them … ie grants, service groups etc. The more bikes on the road means less cars, less wear on the roads leading to lower costs. Working together to coordinate needs and advocating for more money is a joint effort between the group and all the valleys local governments.
Bob Wells – Courtenay Mayoral
Since moving to Courtenay I have cycled as much as possible and have instilled in our children not just the joy of cycling but also the independence it gives them. I have had the opportunity to volunteer for the iRide program and truly appreciate its focus on skills and the rules of the road while still being fun.
Over the past four years we have looked for opportunities within our infrastructure renewal program where bike lanes and cycling paths could be created or enhanced. I look forward to our Complete Street project which should be finished by the end of October to sit as an example of not only what can be done, but how much it costs to do it. As part of my work over the past 4 years lobbying senior levels of government for grants, I support a National Cycling Strategy with funds attached to it to create a sustainable funding model for all infrastructure projects.
Courtenay has a Transportation Master Plan under way that will create a road-map for multi-modal transportation infrastructure in Courtenay. I think it is important for the Cycling Coalition and other organizations to keep council informed and engaged, as well as work with other partners in our community to find opportunities for success.
Comox Valley Regional District Director
Comox Valley Water Committee Chair
Comox Valley Regional District Vice Chair
North Island 911 Corporation
Leader of Startup Comox Valley
Judith Murakami – Courtenay Council
Thank you for the work your group does in educating children and adults in safe riding skills. It is always riders who haven’t been educated who create the bad press for other cyclists. Perhaps your group could create a “cyclists on patrol” division with the RCMP.
Do you have a representative from BC Transit on your committee? That would assist both groups with integration.
Is your group working with 3L? If that development does go through, that would be a model community to showcase a multimodal transportation network.
Perhaps you could work with school district 71 printers for free distribution of your cycling maps to all students.
If elected, I would ensure funds be allocated on a yearly basis to the cycling coalition for education, and encourage council to invest in a safe transportation infrastructure.
Roger Kishi – Cumberland Council
I have been, and will continue to be a strong supporter of active transportation in Cumberland and the Comox Valley. I have supported the inclusion of bike lanes in the recent road infrastructure projects in Cumberland, and the relationship that the Village has with UROC. Improvements to transportation infrastructure needs to address the needs and safety of all modes, walking, cycling, public transit and vehicles.
Candidate- Cumberland Council
Melanie McCollum – Courtenay Council
Thanks for the question. I commute to work by bike most days and agree we need to improve cycling safety in our community. Here’s my answer:
Creating a safe cycling network should be part of our transportation infrastructure investments. The City has commissioned a new master transportation plan to aid in the development of a multimodal transportation network. I support developing safe cycling routes using the framework identified in the plan.
Gwyn Sproule – Cumberland Council
The Village of Cumberland is putting in bicycle lanes whenever there is a road construction project. So in the past two years we have a bicycle friendly route into Cumberland and several blocks of the Main Street have bicycle lanes on each side. There is a 2 lane bike path going from the CRI parking lot into the forest.
The majority of the route to Courtenay down the Parkway is in the hands of MoT. We can encourage to regularly sweep the road shoulder.
Murray Presley – Courtenay Council
Encourage the CVCC0 to keep sending their recommendations to CV local governments to review and coordinate with other local governments and act on them.
Rodney Nichol – CVRD B
Both my wife and I cycle and live out in the Bates Beach area. For the most part traffic is very respectful, however I am sure there is a very small percentage that try and get as close to a Cyclist as they can when they drive bye. Very alarming I must say.
I spoke with MOTI about widening Colemen, Bates, Waveland Roads. They stated the cost is 1 million per Km to achieve their standards.
The Motor Vehicle Act could be amended to severely penalize drivers that do not keep a safe distance from cyclist. Education is a big part of the safety issue most, kids are given a bike and with little instruction turned loose.
I would like all new roads built with cyclists in mind. I am open to ideas (I certainly do not have all the answers) to find ways to raise awareness for drivers, high Vis clothing for cyclists, building up funds to slowly work on cycle routes in the rural areas.
We have a huge disadvantage in the rural communities due to the distance between places and the cost. MOTI does not seem to have the money to maintain our roads now.
That is my rant for now but this subject is on my mind especially when I feel a car go by me and the air movement nearly puts you into the ditch.
Tom Grant – Courtenay Council
Thanks for the question. Council should work with your group, the experts, and try and formulate a strategy to increase safety and awareness of cyclists.