The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) is pleased to share the results of the Cortes Island Active Transportation Planning Project, carried out by Urban Systems Ltd on behalf of the SRD. This information will be incorporated into the updated Official Community Plan and zoning regulations for Cortes Island, with work expected to begin in 2023.
This study was launched in January 2022 and combined field data collection with an extensive public engagement process, including a survey, a virtual engagement session with stakeholders in the region, an online workshop person on Cortes Island and a community lunch with the Klahoose First Nation. . Several key themes and areas of concern emerged from this study, including:
- A desire to walk and cycle safely on Cortes Island, especially between the three main village areas, as well as Squirrel Cove and Klahoose First Nation at Whaletown Ferry.
- The main roads and most shoulders on the island of Cortes are inadequate for walking and cycling.
- Pedestrians and cyclists do not feel safe sharing the road with motor vehicles traveling at the current speed limit, especially given the narrow and winding nature of the roads on the island of Cortes.
- Shoulders are often too narrow, unlit, with poor asphalt and covered in debris that can pose a risk to cyclists and motorists alike.
- Whaletown Road and Carrington Bay Road, Gorge Harbor Road at Seaford Road and Sutil Point Road south of Mansons Landing have been identified as specific areas where safety is a concern.
- Secondary roads and off-road trails promote travel in active modes, especially around the southern part of Cortes Island and the Siskin Forest Trail System.
- The community wants to improve the safety and experience of pedestrians and cyclists on the island of Cortes. Community suggestions include:
- Separate or dedicated lanes for walking and cycling, such as dedicated bike lanes, “Share the Road” signage, road widening and other road shoulder improvements, and off-road paths parallel to pavement or otherwise support a non-recreational use.
- Lower posted speed limits or introduce traffic calming measures in areas frequented by different types of road users, such as around Mansons Landing.
Policy development within the Official Community Plan for Cortes Island is likely to further support SRD’s efforts to improve active transportation conditions for the community by setting clear direction for the future of the community. island through strategic land use and transportation policy.
“We appreciate the community’s participation in this study and their desire to improve the safety and experience of pedestrians and cyclists on Cortes Island,” said Brad Unger, Area Council Chairman. “This project was fully funded by the Union of BC Municipalities’ Active Transportation Planning (ATP) grant program, which helps local governments add active transportation elements to planning documents (such as an OCP) and identify opportunities to improve existing active transportation networks. “
For more information on this project, please visit www.srd.ca/cortes-active-transportation-planning.