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

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Three face charges in Nelson fentanyl busts

Two men and a woman were arrested in two separate incidents

Nelson cyclist run over by truck

Driver ticketed for failing to yield right of way on left turn

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

RDCK: spring flooding financial relief available

The provincial funds are for those affected by flooding in May and early June

Pamela Allain, Laura Gellatly join the Nelson Star

Allain oversees Black Press’s West Kootenay papers, while Gellatly is the Star’s new publisher

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read