The City of Kimberley will be applying to two separate grants with the goal of extending the existing path that leads to 4th Avenue, as well as establishing an active transportation network plan.
At a regular Council Meeting on Monday, February 10, 2020, Manager of Planning Services Troy Pollock explained that there are two separate aspects to the grants that they are applying for.
The first is for a $98,000 grant through the BC Active Transportation Infrastructure program which, if successful, would see a multi-use path extension on 4th Avenue from McDougal Crescent to Tadanac Boulevard. The estimated total cost of the project is $140,000, the remainder of which would need to be paid for by the City. This proposal is included in the second phase of the 4th Avenue project.
“The existing 4th Avenue multi-use pathway, extending from Boundary Street to McDougall Crescent, is a heavily-used connection between the downtown commercial area and the Townsite neighbourhood,” Pollock wrote in a report to Council. “The proposed project would allow for extension of this pathway as part of the second phase of the 4th Avenue project. With no existing path in this area, the proposed extension will improve safety and accessibility for all users, support healthy, active living and encourage shifting to alternative modes of travel to help reduce vehicular traffic and parking demand in downtown areas.”
The second grant application is for $30,000 from the BC Active Network Plan Grant program to fund 50 per cent of the estimated $60,000 cost to develop an active transportation network plan. The remaining 50 per cent of funds would be paid for by the City.
“The development of an active transportation network plan will involve assessment of existing conditions, issues and opportunities to support a more balanced transportation system that is accessible, cost-effective and more equitable in terms of a community’s overall infrastructure investments,” Pollock wrote. “Topography, climate and land use will be considered in development of the plan to ensure long-term effectiveness. The plan will be an essential tool to inform infrastructure planning and ensure eligibility for future active transportation grant opportunities.”
Councillor Kent Goodwin asked if parking would be eliminated to make room for the pathway alongside 4th Avenue. Pollock responded by saying there likely wouldn’t be enough room for both.
“There would be some reduction on the west side, it’s a narrow block [to begin with]. We might be able to squeeze things together but it would be tight,” Pollock said. “Currently, there are no driveways in the front yard of any of the homes along the proposed route for the path and all of the homes have back-lane access.”
Goodwin suggested that this may present an issue, especially, for example, if someone were to have a dinner party and need parking for several guests.
Councillor Sandra Roberts agreed with Goodwin, however she stated that she has never seen anyone park on that particular section of the street.
Mayor Don McCormick says that the City has received many complaints about sidewalks being taken out, and the walkway would be an improvement.
“We’d be putting [a path] in, in this instance, and it would greatly improve safety,” McCormick said.
Pollock agreed, saying that any time parking is affected, there will be complaints.
“That’s perhaps reflective of our lack of balance in infrastructure,” said Pollock. “It would be a real shame if we don’t find a way to add a pathway there.”