Alternatives for Stamp Avenue pathway suggested

City of Port Alberni looking to stay within budget for cycling infrastructure

Some of the suggested routes for a multi-use path along Stamp Ave. SCREENSHOT

Some of the suggested routes for a multi-use path along Stamp Ave. SCREENSHOT

The city of Port Alberni is looking at other options for cycling infrastructure on one of its busiest roadways.

After receiving a $100,000 Bike BC grant for the Stamp Avenue project earlier this year, the city budgeted $200,000 to help pay for a separated, multi-use path along both sides of Stamp Avenue. The additional $100,000 came from the city’s Carbon Fund, which is a reserve fund established to support greenhouse gas reduction initiatives.

But, said director of development services Scott Smith, the costs turned out to be more than originally anticipated.

“It became clear once we got out there and looked at the available right of way we had, costs began to escalate,” said Smith during a Monday, Nov. 20 committee of the whole meeting.

A number of hydro poles, large trees, hydrants and other deterrents, especially on the west side of Stamp Avenue, made a pathway difficult. Smith said the cost got to more than an estimate of $1 million, so staff started looking at other options.

One of the options would be to just put a path on the east side of the road, by adding width to the sidewalk already in existence. Another option would be to eliminate a vehicle lane on the west side and use that space to put in a separated bike path.

“This is a significant change,” said Smith. “We’d need to have serious consideration before we went down there.”

Smith believed that both of these options could be done within budget, although staff would need to talk to BikeBC to find out if the grant would still be valid.

Most councillors agreed that the intersection at Roger Street and Stamp Avenue was a dangerous intersection for cyclists and pedestrians alike, and that something should be done so that cyclists could get from one side of the Avenue to the other.

Both Councillors Jack McLeman and Chris Alemany said that the painted bike lanes around the city are dangerous in some areas, and agreed with the idea of designating the path on the east side so cyclists and pedestrians can share it.

Alemany was also in favour of looking for a solution for the west side. He believed that it was possible to add a pathway without taking away a vehicle lane. “There is a ton of room on the roadway,” he pointed out.

Councillor Denis Sauvé disagreed with letting cyclists and pedestrians share the pathway. “I can tell you that the responsible cyclists are in the minority in this community,” he said. “Does it warrant us having to reconstruct a whole roadway to satisfy a minority of law-abiding cyclists? I know this community needs to start realizing that we’ve got to live within our own means and what we have budgeted.

A few representatives from Cycle Alberni were at the meeting to present their point of view.

Cyclist Bill Brown pointed out, “The purpose of divided bike lanes is to enable bike traffic in a predictable and consistent fashion. The process of putting bike lanes in and making them available and having people get used to them actually creates safer cyclists. I agree, the majority of us out there right now are riding unsafely.

He said that the best option would be protected bike lanes on both sides of the road, with easy access through the intersection in a predictable way.

“Perhaps a first step towards that is to start with a two-lane, divided multi-use path,” he said.

He clarified that the path would clearly delineate areas for cyclists and pedestrians, rather than mixing them.

Cyclist Charles Thomas said that the west side of Stamp Avenue is the more dangerous side of the road to ride on, especially the on-ramp from Victoria Quay, which becomes a bit of a “pinch point.”

After a bit of debate, the committee recommended that city staff look at the cost of an off-street path from Millstone Park to Stamp Avenue, merging onto an on-street path down Stamp Avenue.

elena.rardon@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

CELEBRATING IN STYLE
Members of the 2021 Alberni District Secondary School graduating class pose for a photo at McLean Mill National Historic Site on June 12. Graduates held their prom on Saturday, although things looked a little different due to COVID-19. See more on page A10. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni 2021 grads celebrate prom with car cruise

Special event held at McLean Mill National Historic Site

The Port Alberni Bombers are one of the newest teams in the VIJHL. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni Bombers to host first ID camp for roster spots

Roster spots for the Junior B team will be filled at the conclusion of the camp

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Island man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

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

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

Most Read