Victoria, BC- The Salt Spring Island Transportation Commission (SSITC) has released a progress report on its North Ganges Village Transportation Management Plan, a transportation infrastructure project to improve safety and security for pedestrians and cyclists in North Ganges by adding bike lanes and pathways in the village.
“It is terrific to see the significant progress made on Salt Spring Island active transportation initiatives. It is the result of the hard work of CRD staff, the guidance of the SSITC and the support shown by the community in the November 2014 referendum,” said Wayne McIntyre, CRD Director for Salt Spring Island Electoral Area. “Recognition must also be given to the special partnership the SSITC has with Island Pathways without which the evolving pathway network would not be nearly as well developed. Thank you to all the fabulous volunteers.”
Progress achieved on the individual projects defined for the current phase are as follows:
1. Development of a multi-use pathway on the north side of Rainbow Road from Lower Ganges Road to the Salt Spring Island Recreation Centre, in collaboration with Island Pathways:
- The pathway will be built in four sections, the first of which, from the Recreation Centre along the frontage of the High School, will be completed this year.
- The segment between the intersection of Jackson Road and Kanaka Rd west to the Gulf Islands Secondary School soccer field is pending while the Capital Regional District (CRD) and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure determine how to address historical drainage issues.
- The remaining sections to Lower Ganges Road will be advanced to tender with construction expected in early 2017.
2. Development of active transportation networks on Lower Ganges Road to Rainbow Road:
- The original design for major road re-alignment at the intersection of Rainbow Road with Lower Ganges Road will be reduced in scope to generally follow the current road alignment, meet budgetary constraints, and respect the rural nature of the community.
- The pathway on the upland side of Lower Ganges Road from Rainbow Road to Upper Ganges Road has been adjusted to meet budgetary constraints with a target for completion in 2017. The pathway will be 2.0m wide and possibly narrower at select locations to avoid obstacles. Cross walks at the Upper/Lower Ganges intersection will be considered to link up with existing pathways.
- The pathway on the harbour side was deferred while the Transportation and Parks and Recreation Commission applied for grants to develop an infrastructure plan for renewal of the Ganges boardwalk structures and Pecks Cove Park. It was recently announced that $150,000 Community Works funding has been awarded to undertake these works. Plans on the Lower Ganges harbour side will be developed to align with the boardwalk restoration plans.
3. Additional pathway links, in collaboration with Island Pathways planned projects:
- The Harbour's End pathway was completed in 2015, including the solar powered information kiosk. The pathway provides a safe and attractive route around the end of the harbour for residents and visitors.
- The pathway along Rainbow Road from Atkins Road past the Farmers' Institute was completed in 2015.
- Planning is underway to complete the pathway along Atkins Road to Rainbow Road in 2017.
4. Pedestrian intersection improvements at Hereford and Purvis on Lower Ganges Road have been deferred in favour of other priorities.
5. Active transportation improvements along Fulford-Ganges Hill into Ganges Village will not be considered in this phase due to cost constraints. It remains a priority for the SSITC once Rainbow Road and Lower Ganges Road are completed; a funding decision by referendum is anticipated for the 2018 local elections.
In 2007, the CRD initiated the North Ganges Village Transportation Management Plan to identify options and costs for the construction of cyclist and pedestrian facilities on Lower Ganges Road and Rainbow Road north and west of “downtown” Ganges on Salt Spring Island. Phase 1, consisting of pathways, bike lanes, and bus pull-outs along Lower Ganges Road from Atkins to the intersection with Upper Ganges Road, was completed in 2013.
In November 2014, Salt Spring Island residents approved a four year taxation increase to fund construction of further phases of cyclist and pedestrian facilities on Salt Spring Island. This phase of the plan runs from 2015 – 2019. For project updates and to view the North Ganges Village Transportation Management Plan, please visit https://www.crd.bc.ca/about/what-we-do/transportation-transit/ssi-transportation-programs
Celebrating 50 years! The CRD delivers regional, sub-regional and local services to 13 municipalities and three electoral areas on southern Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Governed by a 24 member Board of Directors, the CRD works collaboratively with First Nations and all levels of government to enable sustainable growth, enhance community well-being, and develop cost-effective infrastructure while continuing to provide core services to residents throughout the region.
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