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

Nelson lacks enough supporting housing to meet homeless demand: report

The annual study shows permanent shelter is needed for people experiencing homelessness

Two new COVID-19 cases reported in Interior Health

The total number of Interior Health cases since the beginning of the pandemic is now at 522

Nelson outdoor photo exhibit reflects physically distanced life

Portraits of a Pandemic runs until Oct. 15 at Lakeside Park

West Kootenay mother searching for son missing since Sept. 1

Police are investigating the disappearance of Cory Westcott

Oxygen Art Centre launches new adult classes

There are online and in-person options

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read