North Cowichan will be updating its master transportation plan this year. (File photo)

North Cowichan will be updating its master transportation plan this year. (File photo)

North Cowichan looks to update its transportation plan

Public will be consulted for input

With an increasing population and more use of its roadways and other transportation systems, North Cowichan is looking to update its master transportation plan to meet present and future needs.

David Conway, the municipality’s director of engineering, told council members at a meeting on March 9 that, when complete, the new MTP will guide the district’s transportation networks for the next 30 years.

He said the MTP has not been updated since 2008.

“[The new MTP] will help North Cowichan set goals for future infrastructure work,” Conway said.

“Active transportation [including bicycling and walking] and alternative transportation [including the increasing use of e-bikes and e-scooters] systems need integration in land-use planning moving forward.”

RELATED STORY: NORTH COWICHAN CONSIDERS SAFETY MEASURES ON TWO ROADWAYS

Conway said development is quickly changing and expanding in North Cowichan, and pointed to the growth in the Berkey’s Corner area, and the ongoing planning for the expected rapid growth of the Bell McKinnon area with the upcoming construction of the new hospital as examples.

“The MTP will contain clear transportation goals and objectives, and provide a road map with concrete, short-term projects that can be achieved,” he said.

Conway said studies indicate that population growth in North Cowichan has been forecasted to be nine per cent between 2019 and 2025, averaging about 1.45 per cent a year.

He said, relatedly, traffic volumes in the municipality are growing by approximately one per cent a year, based on counts along major roadways.

Conway said staff hope to have the new MTP completed by the end of the year, but promised plenty of public consultations using various means over the year to ensure the public will have a say in how their transportation networks are to be planned for the next three decades.

RELATED STORY: SPEED TABLES GET GO AHEAD FROM NORTH COWICHAN TO SLOW DANGEROUS SPEEDING

“Our expected outcomes, vision and goals over the next 30 years includes sustainable transportation in North Cowichan that will focus on transit, cycling and pedestrian networks,” he said.

Conway said the municipality will also look at establishing more infrastructure for e-bikes, e-scooters and other micro-mobility [a range of small, lightweight vehicles operating at speeds typically below 25 km/h] that will keep conflicts with traditional active transport, such as walkers and cyclists, to a minimum.

Coun. Christopher Justice asked if speed limits in North Cowichan would be looked at as part of the process.

He said groups like 880 Cities, a non-profit organization that brings people together to enhance mobility and public space in communities, has concluded that one key to vibrant and livable communities is slower traffic.

Conway said the subject of traffic calming will be considered in the development of the MTP, and many stakeholder and other groups will be contacted for their input before any final decisions are made.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Transportation

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

Just Posted

Vandals burned a hole in the platform at the top of the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom early on the morning of Thursday, April 22. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson closes Somenos Marsh viewing platform

Fletcher estimates the damage at more than $5,000.

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

More sleeping cabins for the homeless in the Cowichan Valley could soon be put in place if a $2.5-million grant application to the UBCM Strengthening Communities’ Services funding program is successful. (File photo)
Funding sought to expand homeless initiatives in Cowichan Valley

$2.5-million grant would see more sleeping cabins and outreach projects

The old Stanley Gordon school in Lake Cowichan. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)
Editorial: Old school properties represent potential for our areas

There are opportunities, often sitting right in the middle of our small communities.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
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

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read