The Yellow Point Ecological Society, (YES) is proposing a 22km multi-use trail that would connect local parks, schools, businesses, markets and community centres, in a circular route around Yellow Point and Cedar roads.
Pamela Walker of YES said a trail is needed, as the narrow shoulder on Cedar and Yellow Point roads is dangerous for pedestrians and active transportation commuters.
“It’s dangerous because there’s not much shoulder at all, and traffic’s going fast. There are little children that walk to school along some of the sections around the Chuckwagon Market to North Oyster School. Equally dangerous on the other side, kids walking to Cedar elementary have to walk along the road, and there’s no path really,” Walker said.
The proposed trail would run roughly alongside the road, however that would be determined by engineers.
The trail would prioritize ‘active transport’ that includes activities like walking, cycling, horseback riding, rollerblading – basically any transportation activity except for driving. Walker said the trail would be accessible to wheelchair users and folks with disabilities.
If completed, the trail would run through both the Cowichan Valley Regional District Area H and the Regional District of Nanaimo Area A. Both Area H director Colin Haime, Area A director Keith Wilson have expressed support for the project.
“If it’s something that in any shape or form – either in stages or otherwise be created – I think it would increase the safety of the residents,” Haime said.
Haime expressed a reservation about the availability of funds for the project. He indicated that there is no funding in the CVRD budget for the project, and suggested that YES should look at grant funding opportunities for the trail.
Following a presentation YES made to the RDN on September 15, Wilson made a notice of motion, that would direct the RDN to name one member to join a joint management committee with the CVRD, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and YES to explore and advance plans for an active transportation plan in the area.
Wilson’s motion will come back before the RDN at an Electoral Area Services Committee meeting on October 8.
Wilson said that the Cedar Yellow Point Trail meets strategic goals of the RDN on creating an active transportation network that links the regional districts of central Vancouver Island.
In their presentation, YES estimated that costs for the trail would be between $300,000 to $1 million per kilometre of trail.