The City of Nelson wants public feedback on plans to better connect Rosemont and Uphill for pedestrians and cyclists.
Phase two of the city’s active transportation project is now looking to consult residents through public engagement to explore design options.
Active transportation is a key component to reduce Nelson’s greenhouse gas emissions, as well as reducing the pressure put on parking in the downtown core and increasing the general health of the city’s population.
City planner Matt Kuziak says the Fairview bike path was completed in the summer of 2021, starting phase two would bring the city one step closer to lowering greenhouse gas emissions and improving traffic issues in the city.
“Generally this is based on the overarching goal and the community plan to reduce the amount of emissions stemming from our transportation network,” says Kuziak. “A good way of doing that is to increase active transportation by walking, cycling, scooters and using a wheelchair.”
Kuziak says there are a number of steps that still need to be considered before construction can begin on phase two which will connect the neighborhoods of Rosemont and Uphill.
“We are fully diving into public engagement,” he says. “While we are working with the public to collect their feedback we’ll be working on the detailed design with our engineers to incorporate the feedback we get from public engagement.”
He says once the details are worked out with public engagement and the engineers they can then do a final draft and present it to council with hopefully some federal grants to reduce the cost of the project.
“Total cost for the next phase is $1.8 million,” he says. “This includes a 45 per cent contingency plan for cost overruns and fluctuations in labor and material costs. The federal grant should consist of 60 percent of the total costs.”
He says another method of saving money could be to do this phase in increments.
“We have also looked at phasing some of these improvements over a number of different years,” says Kuziak. “We’ll commence this project in the spring of 2024. Depending on public engagement, and the level of funding we might be able to complete it in one shot.”
He says this plan was approved by council and active transportation is not an attack on people who prefer residents who prefer vehicle transit.
“We understand vehicle traffic is very much an essential part of the city,” he says. “We do want to be able to provide other options for people who might want to make that change.”
Kuziak is encouraging everyone to participate in the public engagement aspect of the Rosemont bike path.
“Moving forward I look forward to working with everyone,” says Kuziak. “We’ll make sure we can make this as holistic as possible and take everyone’s feedback into consideration.”
Since the completion of the first phase of the Fairview bikeway pedestrian traffic has doubled from 15 an hour to 30 an hour. Vehicle trips have declined by up to 50 per cent from 120 to 66.
Some design elements for the next phase include a floating bus stop and separated multi-use path/painted bike lanes.