About Active Transportation
Human Powered! The Active Transportation Plan (ATP) for the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) was adopted by the Board on September 27, 2023 and integrates existing and in-progress active transportation plans, policies and initiatives throughout the region while filling in gaps to create a cohesive and connected regional active transportation network.
The ATP is intended to guide the CVRD in identifying and prioritizing regional active transportation initiatives, partnership opportunities and to support the securing of grants and other sources of funding to develop the ATP network.
Furthermore, this ATP:
|Frequently Asked Question:
|What is Active Transportation?
|Active transportation infrastructure refers to the physical structures and the built environment that support active transportation, such as pathways, bike lanes, multi-use trails and widened sidewalks. The most effective active transportation infrastructure provides a complete network that allows users to safely move through their communities and between destinations, from main streets to schools, parks, public transit hubs and residential neighborhoods. Active transportation methods include a variety of methods whereby you are using your own power (human power) to get from one place to another and includes:
walking, biking, skateboarding, in-line skating/rollerblading, jogging and running, non-mechanized wheel chairing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing (in winter cities 😉). The focus of active transportation methods continues to evolve and now include power assist modes, such as electric bikes and scooters.
|Why do a Regional Active Transportation Plan?
|The Cowichan Valley Regional District's (CVRD) electoral area transportation system relies heavily on the private automobile, with approximately 90% of commuting done via personal vehicles. This auto dependence is responsible for generating 76% of our greenhouse gases in the unincorporated areas, compared to 58% provincially (BCGov, 2010).
The objective of the CVRD Strategic Plan 2020-2022 included the need to support development and use of alternative transportation opportunities within the region, including to: "develop and implement a framework to identify, prioritize, and fund active transportation infrastructure”. The 2023-2026 Strategic Plan now identifies strategic objective #11 - "to support the development and use of active transportation opportunities in the region".
|Does this plan incorporate the work being done in the four Municipalities within the CVRD?
|Yes! The CVRD has worked closely with our municipal partners. Coincidentally, all of them are currently working on active transportation plans, or policies or have adopted plans in the last couple of years.
|Why don't the residential neighbourhoods in the CVRD’s Electoral Areas have sidewalks?
|Municipalities have authority and responsibility for their local roads, and also have the authority to make additional improvements, such as installing sidewalks and planting boulevard trees. However, within the Electoral Areas across the CVRD it is the Provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure who is responsible for local roads, not the Regional District. Local roads in Electoral Areas are maintained by the Ministry to the provincial rural road standard which applies across Province and does not include a provision for sidewalks.
|Was the Provincial Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) involved in the development of the Regional ATP for the Cowichan Region?
|Yes! The MOTI was an important stakeholder in developing this plan. The MOTI is the road authority responsible for all public roads within the region’s nine Electoral Areas (the municipalities within the region are separately responsible for their local roads).
|Can the E & N Railway corridor within the Cowichan Region contribute to opportunities for development of active transportation routes?
|The CVRD has an agreement with the Island Corridor Foundation which permits development of ‘rail with trail’ adjacent to the existing tracks within the rail corridor. Sections of the Cowichan Valley Trail are in place along the corridor as ‘rail with trail’ between Chemainus and Ladysmith, as well as the Friendship Trail ‘rail with trail’ in Duncan/North Cowichan and the Shawnigan Lake Rail with Trail. These “rails with trails’ provide for important linkages with development of a Regional Active Transportation network for the Cowichan region.
|Was horseback riding and carriage riding considered in the development of the Regional ATP?
|Although horseback riding and carriage riding takes place across the region, this plan is focused on planning and developing roadside infrastructure that supports human powered modes of transportation.