The announcement that Port Alberni is receiving a $100,000 BikeBC grant to help pay for a multi-use path along Stamp Avenue is good news for the city.
The path on the opposite side of Stamp Avenue is well used, and having one on the west side of the road can only increase people’s safety travelling to the other side of town.
There is also opportunity to build a greenbelt from Victoria Quay up to Gertrude Street, the old Tidebrook Motel land and Rogers Creek Park. The new path will give pedestrians, parents with strollers, and yes, cyclists, a safe way to traverse the area.
The city committed a few years ago to an Active Transportation Plan, which aims to make walking and cycling safe and attractive transportation choices for people of all ages and abilities. This multi-use path will be a key factor in that plan, city officials said.
There are critics who have loudly voiced the opinion that the city should spend their $100,000 portion on infrastructure improvements. The fact is, they can’t. The city’s money is coming from the Carbon Fund, which must be used to support new greenhouse gas reduction initiatives. Filling cracks in asphalt doesn’t make that cut.
We know creating a multi-use path in front of the paper mill might seem an oxymoron when thinking about aesthetics for visitors to Port Alberni. However, the path is an important step to connecting Victoria and Harbour Quays.
We realize the path will stop at Redford Street, but that’s not too far from the new Tyee Landing, the train station and Harbour Quay, and there are sidewalks to help get people to those areas from the new path.
This grant, and this plan, is not just about bike paths—it’s about connecting the city in a sustainable manner.
—Alberni Valley News