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

The old Yount school in Youbou has stood empty for years, but now a group has plans to turn it into a mixed-use property with affordable housing and tourist services. (Submitted)
Group sets sights on tranforming old Yount school property in Youbou

School District 79 has already commenced a process to sell the school through a formal proposal call

North Cowicha to extend the time lines of its official community plan update. (File photo)
North Cowichan to extend time line of OCP review

Municipality also adds $55,000 to OCP budget

Cowichan Capitals’ Logan Rands digs for the puck along the boards in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs’ zone midway through the third period of their BC Hockey League game at the Alberni Valley Multiplex on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
Cowichan Capitals pick up first two wins of BCHL season

Brockman, Moffatt both up to four goals on the year

A nearly four-hour standoff at an apartment complex on Cowichan Lake Road in Duncan ended peacefully on Wednesday, April 14. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Police surround building as homeowner held in apartment by adult son

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Bulldogs forward Stephen Castagna flips the puck into the Clippers zone during a game on Oct. 24. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Island BCHL game postponed due to ‘potential positive’ COVID-19 test

Nanaimo Clippers team suspends activities, players isolating pending further test results

Most Read