A family cross the highway splitting Cathedral Grove. The Mininstry of Transportation and Infrastructure is looking for public input on how to address safety concerns at the popular tourist attraction. — NEWS File Photo

Government looks for public input on Cathedral Grove safety concerns

Port Alberni, Parksville info sessions invite public to help ‘shape future access’

A Cathedral Grove pedestrian and traffic safety study is underway, and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is looking for public input on safety concerns at the park.

Located in MacMillan Provincial Park, Cathedral Grove has become a local, national and international attraction, with about half a million visitors a year, according to a MOTI press release.

“As the park’s popularity continues to grow, so too have issues surrounding pedestrian safety and parking alongside the highway,” it reads.

The ministry is inviting park visitors, interest groups and people who live in surrounding communities to help the ministry understand and address safety concerns.

The study seeks public input on understanding these issues, with a series of open houses, a survey and online public engagement starting Nov. 21.

“The goal of this engagement process is to learn more about how to address safety and parking concerns at Cathedral Grove, while protecting environmental, social and cultural values,” reads the release.

The first public info session is Nov. 21 at the Port Alberni Friendship Centre, Clutesi Hall (3555 4th Ave., from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The second session is Nov. 22 at Oceanside Place in the multi-purpose room (830 West Island Hwy.) from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Those who cannot attend can access the info presented to the sessions via http://engage.gov.bc.ca/cathedralgrove. Info will be available after the start of the open house, and there will be an online feedback form that can be filled out.

Comments or questions can be submitted to the project team by calling 250-751-3126 or by email: cathedralgrove@gov.bc.ca.

Input from the public consultation period, feedback from First Nations and local government will be used to guide future safety initiatives, according to the release.

The ministry anticipates sharing initial safety concepts for further public engagement in spring 2019.

— NEWS Staff/Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

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