The Capital Regional District (CRD) is considering widening and lighting certain sections of the Galloping Goose and Lochside regional trails with a 6.5 metre separated use pathway design. These sections under review include 6.6 km portions of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail between the Selkirk Trestle and Grange Road (adjacent to McKenzie Avenue) and the Lochside Regional Trail between the Switch Bridge and McKenzie Avenue/Borden Street.

Public Engagement

As part of the initial engagement, the public was invited to fill out a survey to offer feedback about the trail widening and lighting proposal. These responses will help CRD Regional Parks gather background information about level of support for the proposed design.

The survey is now closed, thank you to those who participated.

Virtual open houses were held on June 4 & 7, 2021. These open houses offered the opportunity to learn more about the project through a presentation, followed by a Q&A session with experts. You can watch a recording of these sessions at the links below.

Background

The Galloping Goose and Lochside Regional Trails have steadily increased in popularity since being constructed in the late 1980s (Galloping Goose) and early 2000s (Lochside) and now average 3.8 million visits per year. The increase in user volumes and conflicts in urban trail sections have been identified as challenges for years.

The 2016 Regional Trails Management Plan (RTMP) identifies assessing the feasibility of separating or widening the Galloping Goose between Selkirk Trestle and McKenzie Avenue / Highway 1, as well as to assess widening the Lochside between the Switch Bridge and McKenzie Avenue. The RTMP also identifies the need to study the possibility of adding lighting along regional trails.

The CRD retained consultant services in 2019 to conduct the Regional Trails Widening Study. The study considered options to widen and separate trail users and potentially light the 6.6km portions of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail between the Selkirk Trestle and Grange Road (adjacent McKenzie Avenue) and the Lochside Regional Trail between the Switch Bridge and McKenzie Avenue/Borden Street.

Urban Systems and PBX Engineering were retained for the project and submitted a report with recommendations and conceptual design drawings to Regional Parks in 2020. This report was presented to the Regional Parks Committee and CRD Board in February 2021. Staff have been directed to conduct expedited public engagement on the 6.5m separated use pathway design with lighting and implementation priorities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why widen and separate the trails?

The Regional Trails Management Plan was approved by the CRD Board in 2016 and identifies the need to study options for widening and separating the trails to improve safety and manage for different types of trail users in the busiest, urban sections of the Galloping Goose and Lochside regional trails.

These trails currently see approximately 3 million users per year and the CRD predicts that trail user volumes will increase significantly due to trends in population growth and a shift toward active transportation and healthy lifestyles.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions through improvements to active transportation is a key priority of the CRD. Creating a safe, enjoyable experience for all trail users can help achieve this goal.

Why is the 6.5 m Separated Use Pathway design proposed?

The Regional Trails Widening Study was completed in 2020 and recommends a 6.5 m Separated Use Pathway design because of the anticipated significant improvement to trail user comfort and safety associated with separating trail users. The proposed design is based on professional design standards and best-practices and will accommodate an anticipated increase in trail users. This design is favoured because the capital cost is lower and there are fewer environmental impacts anticipated during construction compared to a wider trail design.

Why install lighting?

The 2016 Regional Trails Management Plan identifies the need to study lighting the urban sections of the Galloping Goose and Lochside regional trails. The Regional Trails Widening Study was completed in 2020 and recommends lighting be installed at key locations along the trails such as trail junctions and underpasses, to increase safety and visibility. Low-intensity lights or reflectors are proposed adjacent to natural areas, such as Swan Lake, to minimize potential impacts on wildlife.

What type of lighting is proposed?

Hard-wired LED (light emitting diode) light sources are proposed as they: represent an energy consumption savings over conventional lighting options, allow for improved light control and light output, have a long life span, include a variety of colour temperatures, and involve less maintenance compared to solar.

How much will it cost?

The total estimated project cost of constructing 6.6 km of separated use pathway with lighting is $13.2 million.

Where is the money coming from?

Funding to create a separated use pathway with lighting will require innovative cost-sharing approaches, partnerships and successful grant applications to acquire the necessary funds to support implementation.

When will the construction occur?

The CRD is in the early stages of considering the separated use pathway design. If supported, construction of trail improvements would take place in a phased approach over a number of years.

How does the CRD mitigate impacts from trail development?

As part of any capital project, the CRD aims to protect significant natural and cultural heritage features and minimize impacts to the greatest degree possible. The CRD will engage with environmental, geotechnical and archaeological consultants in the planning and design stages to identify sensitive environmental, cultural and geological attributes and measures to avoid disturbance during construction.