Transportation Master Plan: A look at Walking and Biking

At this time, the City doesn’t have a defined active transportation plan. Although pedestrians have easy access to the downtown and surrounding residential areas, there are gaps in the network. Walking is a fundamental form of transportation. By providing attractive pedestrian facilities, the City will be contributing towards making Fort St. John a more vibrant city, and help to strengthen the residents’ sense of community.

As part of the research for the TMP, a survey asked the question, “What opportunities exist to improve how we move around?” Of the 102 respondents, 25 per cent said more and safer sidewalks are needed; 24 per cent said more trails are needed; and 22 per cent were in favour of more bicycle lanes.

To improve pedestrian access to the City, the draft TMP suggested increasing sidewalk coverage, widening sidewalks to 2 metres, narrowing pedestrian crossings, and making the pedestrian signals more accessible.

Cycling in the city is increasing, and a safe and comfortable bicycle network will enhance the experience for cyclists and encourage a larger number of people to use active transportation within the City. The TMP outlines proposed bicycle facilities in the City to serve the core areas where people are most likely to bike. It suggests establishing a complete and connected network to increase accessibility and use of infrastructure in the community.

The establishment of bike lanes is included in this proposed network. There would be shared travel lanes on local roadways – these are mainly roads in the residential areas – and on collector roadways, such as 100 St., 100 Ave., 105 Ave., 112 Ave., 104 St., and 90 St., for example, there would be 1.5m wide bike lanes marked on these roads.

Council decided that it will take some time to digest the TMP and bring it up again at a later Committee of the Whole meeting for discussion.

Tomorrow we will take a more indepth look at the plans ideas for roads and bus transportation in the City of Fort St. John.

Here is the full report: