Esquimalt council has endorsed its Active Transportation Network Plan, paving the way for improved transportation options for its residents.
Endorsed at a Feb. 7 meeting, the plan is intended to outline a holistic approach to improve how people walk, ride and roll within and through the township, and has been in the works since October 2020.
“The Active Transportation Network Plan process provided an opportunity for the township to comprehensively assess where we are at with active transportation and create a blueprint for Esquimalt’s future network,” said Mayor Barbara Desjardins in a news release. “Council was pleased to endorse the plan and we look forward to seeing it come to fruition.”
The plan outlines a goal of increasing the percentage of residents using active transportation to travel, and more broadly to help reach the greenhouse gas reduction targets outlined in Esquimalt’s Official Community Plan. While the plan outlines projects to be completed in the next five years as well as projects intended for a longer time frame, it focuses on five “big moves” expected to yield the greatest benefit.
Those big moves include the development of a 3.5-kilometre cycling network on three major roads, the reduction of speed limits on township roads, reviews and improvements to existing intersections and crossings, filling in gaps in existing sidewalk networks, and introducing dedicated active transportation staff.
Capital Bike, a regional cycling education and advocacy group, noted the plan is an important milestone as it provides clear direction on where to improve cycling and walking infrastructure while making it easier to visit local businesses and destinations using climate-friendly transportation modes.
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