Trust Executive asking MOTI Minister to include active transportation in roadwork plans

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Wednesday, July 31 2019

The Islands Trust continues to put pressure on the BC Ministry of Transportation to ensure that plans for road upgrades on Gabriola incorporate active transportation lanes.

Gabriola Trustee Scott Colbourne reported that this past week, the Islands Trust Executive Committee passed a motion that the Islands Trust Chair write the Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure (MOTI) requesting that current planned upgrades to roads on Gabriola Island include active transportation lanes. The Chair will also request that the Ministry consult the Gabriola Official Community Plan and Local Trust Committee as per the Letter of Understanding (1992) between the Islands Trust and MOTI.

A second motion was passed that the Executive Committee request staff to meet with MOTI to pursue active transportation solutions on islands when capital or upgrade projects are planned.

Colbourne said, “I’m very happy that the Islands Trust Executive Committee voted to support our request that the Ministry of Transportation include safe spaces for people who walk, people who ride and for people who drive on their roadway upgrades on the island.”

The second motion directs Trust staff to work with MOTI to get some clarity about what triggers the 1992 agreement—essentially, what is classified as maintenance versus capital upgrade—and applies to the entire Islands Trust.

Colbourne said, “My hope is that we can get ahead of last-minute appeals such as this and work together with the Province and Regional Districts to plan, fund and maintain more safe pathways for island communities.

“After the Trust voted to declare a climate emergency, staff started an action plan that states transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions on the islands of the Salish Sea. If we’re working to protect and preserve these fragile ecosystems, keeping people safe as we move around using less carbon is a clear priority for all levels of government.”

Colbourne encouraged anyone who is concerned about having active transportation included in actual work on Gabriola to write directly to Transportation Minister Claire Trevena about island pathways specifically.

There is also a customer service survey being conducted on the MOTI website, where residents of BC can express their thoughts on transportation issues. It includes a comment section for more details.

A link to the survey will be included in the online version of this story at www.soundernews.com.