Nelson council says bike lanes are not just for adults but for families and kids. File photo

Nelson council hopes to create bike route from bridge to downtown

Project will depend on a provincial grant

The City of Nelson will apply for a $469,000 provincial government grant to create bike infrastructure in the city.

The estimated cost of the proposed project would be $670,000, with the city providing the difference of $201,000.

The proposed bike route would connect downtown with Fairview and Lakeside park via High Street and Third Street.

Components of the bike infrastructure plan could include bike lanes, shared bike routes, traffic calming options, recommended speeds, a signage and painting plan, and changes to intersections.

The proposed Third Street route from the bridge through Fairview would include curb extensions designed to reduce traffic speed. Third Street (parallel to Nelson Avenue and one block above it) is seen as a safer family bike route than Nelson Avenue, which would probably still be chosen by more experienced bikers.

The city is considering two options for High Street: either a one-way street with dedicated bike lane, or a two-way shared street with traffic calming measures.

Changes to the intersection at High Street and Anderson Street would allow the bike lane to progress from Third Street onto High Street.

In downtown Nelson there would be a covered bike shelter as well as the conversion of three stalls in the parkade to bike parking.

The provincial grant program supports active transportation (walking and biking) infrastructure in B.C. municipalities and its annual application deadline is Feb. 20.

So council decided last week to apply for the grant even though it hasn’t yet formally signed off on the plan, which is conceptual and incomplete.

The proposed changes came from a working group chaired by councillor Brittny Anderson that recently reviewed the city’s 2010 Active Transportation Plan and recommended council should prioritize cycling infrastructure over well-established pedestrian infrastructure.

That conclusion was influenced by the increasing prevalence of electric bikes in Nelson.

At the council meeting, Mayor John Dooley commented that the process seemed backwards: usually council will approve a project before applying for a grant.

“Is this project grant-driven or community-driven?” he asked.

City planner Sebastien Arcand agreed that it is driven by the grant deadline, but if the application is successful he said it will still be up to council to get public input and formally approve the plan or not.

Councillor Rik Logtenberg said cycling infrastructure is mandated in the Official Community Plan, which says that by 2040 active transportation should account for the largest share of local trips.

“We are going to need to do some work to achieve that,” he said.

Councillor Jesse Woodward said many people want to commute to work but “they are worried, they are waiting for that to blossom in our city.”

He said he hopes encouraging bike commuting will help parking problems downtown.

The working group that reviewed the Active Transportation Plan made four general findings that have driven this push for bike infrastructure:

• According to the 2016 census, the proportion of the population commuting by active transportation has remained stable at 30 per cent (25 per cent are pedestrians and five per cent are cyclists).

• The pedestrian infrastructure is well established. Focus should be on maintenance and upgrades.

• Cycling infrastructure is minimal. The plan should focus on increasing cycling infrastructure.

• Nelson has unique challenges due to topography and narrow streets. Any approach to active transportation infrastructure will need to be homegrown and adapted to our local context to be successful.

Related:

• Nelson council ponders bike and walking routes

• Cycling coalition wants to be Nelson council’s friend



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

bike lanesNelson

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

West Kootenay SPCA hopes you’ll have a heart for Cupid

Cat who tangled with a bobcat seeking a permanent home

Kootenay-Columbia MP urges end to ‘illegal roadblocks’ in solidarity with pipeline dispute

Rob Morrison says protestors across Canada need to remove roadblocks on roads, rail lines

New ‘hub’ model takes regional approach to doctor recruitment in West Kootenay

Kootenay-Boundary a provincial leader in effectively attracting doctors to work here

Missing Slocan City man found dead

Douglas Morrison went missing in mid-January

Nelson ArtWalk seeking submissions

You have until April 17 to submit your application

VIDEO: B.C. senior recalls ‘crazy’ wartime decision to grab bear cub from den

Henry Martens – now 96 – says he was lucky to be alive after youthful decision to enter a bear’s den

Cheapest in B.C.: Penticton gas prices dip below $1 per litre

Two stores in Penticton have gas below a dollar.

Loans or gifts? Judge rules woman must pay B.C. man back $7K

B.C. judge rules that woman must pay back more than $7,000 in advanced funds to man

VIDEO: Outpouring of worldwide support for bullied Australian boy

Australian actor Hugh Jackman said ‘you are stronger than you know, mate’

‘A horror show:’ Ex-employee shares experience at problematic Chilliwack seniors’ home

Workers are paid below industry standard at all Retirement Concepts facilities

Forest industry protests northern B.C. caribou protection deal

B.C. Mining Association supports federal-Indigenous plan

Youth-led report calls on B.C. government to create plan to end youth homelessness

There are no dedicated programs for youth homelessness at federal, provincial level, report says

Trudeau: Time for blockades to end and Indigenous leaders to work with government

Prime minister says situation in Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute is ‘unacceptable and untenable’

RCMP clarifies stance on removing officers from Wet’suwet’en territory in northern B.C.

Police say will remove officers only if hereditary chiefs keep road open to pipeline workers

Most Read