Church-Spruce connection added to Gabriola cycle route

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Wednesday, February 6 2019

The Gabriola Local Trust Committee has begun the process to include the proposed Church-Spruce connection on the official island cycle route.

A Letter of Agreement between the Islands Trust and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure stipulates that an Official Community Plan must designate a bicycle route plan in order for applicable road standards to be required during road construction or upgrades.

As of yet, the agreement has not been put to the test on Gabriola, as no road included on the cycle route has been upgraded since the map was included in the OCP.

The proposed bylaw 301 was given first reading at the January 24 Local Trust Committee meeting and will be advanced forward to a public hearing.

If it is adopted, the bylaw would amend the Gabriola Official Community Plan (OCP) by updating the Gabriola Island Cycle Route Plan to include the anticipated Church Street and Spruce Road connection and correct numbering references to the cycle route plan in the OCP.

There are no planned text amendments to the OCP, this is a change to the map included in the OCP showing where the cycle route is.

Trustee Scott Colbourne made the motion to take the bylaw through first reading and into the public consultation process.

In making the motion, Colbourne said, “I very much look forward to the public hearing. This is all about roads. I don’t believe the roads [on Gabriola] are safe for cyclists - if I were a cyclist I’d get off the roads and on the trails.Adding this is good, but there’s a bigger conversation about moving around the island. I look forward to talking about this in a bigger way, both at a Trust level and a larger community conversation.”

Planning staff said the cycle route addition has been discussed in replying to the referral from MOTI for the proposed subdivision on either side of the proposed Church-Spruce connection.

Staff said they have indicated the need for 1.2 meters of shoulder width to accommodate bicycle in the proposed section of road. No date has been set for when the Church-Spruce connection might be open for use by the public.

Update: a public hearing has been scheduled regarding this proposed bylaw. It will be held at 10:45am at the Gabriola Arts & Heritage Centre on Thursday, Feb. 28. Further details at under the Gabriola Island section.