The Capital Regional District (CRD) plans to widen and light sections of the Galloping Goose and Lochside regional trails with a 6.5m separated use pathway design. These improvements will be done in phases and will span 5.3km of the Galloping Goose Regional Trail between the Selkirk Trestle and Grange Road (adjacent to McKenzie Avenue) and 1.3km of the Lochside Regional Trail between the Switch Bridge and McKenzie Avenue/Borden Street. This project will also include the renewal of three aging trestles — the Brett, the Selkirk and the Swan Lake trestles — within the project area.

On August 9, 2023, the CRD Board approved:

  • that the Regional Trails Widening and Lighting Project be accelerated by the inclusion of the Project in the 2024-2028 Financial Plan;
  • that project funds ($53.5 million) be secured by way of debt; and
  • that staff continue to develop partnerships, pursue grant opportunities and investigate options to generate additional funds through non-tax revenue.

In 2022, staff worked with the province and municipalities, pursued grant opportunities and undertook feasibility studies on the project.

In October 2021, the CRD Board directed staff to actively develop partnerships and pursue grant funding opportunities, including submission to the federal Active Transportation Fund. In September of 2023, $1.9 million has been secured through the Growing Communities Fund.

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. Trends suggest that trail user volumes will continue to increase significantly due to trends in population growth and a shift toward active transportation and healthy lifestyles. The increase in user volumes and modes has led to increased user conflicts in urban trail sections. This has been recognized as a pressing issue that is expected to grow without a change to trail design.

The CRD retained consultant services in 2019 to conduct the Regional Trails Widening Study. Urban Systems and PBX Engineering were retained for the study 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.

In July 2023, the CRD Board directed that the Regional Trestles Renewal, Trail Widening and Lighting Project be accelerated by the inclusion of the Project in the 2024-2028 Financial Plan. Trail and trestle upgrades will be made over time with consideration being given to other planned public works projects and with the busiest sections of trail being given priority.

Public & Stakeholder Engagement

Staff were directed by the CRD Board in February 2021 to conduct an expedited public engagement on the 6.5m separated use pathway design with lighting and implementation priorities, including consideration of low-intensity lighting in the trail segment adjacent to Swan Lake.

As a result, public engagement was conducted between May 25 and June 13, 2021. First Nations, government and agencies were also invited to provide input. A number of tools and approaches were used to provide information about the project, to gather views and opinions, and to discuss stakeholder interests. Find the Public Engagement Report here.

Consultation with First Nations, government partners and other stakeholders will occur as the project progresses through 2024 and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why widen and separate the trails?

The Galloping Goose and Lochside Regional Trails currently average 3.8 million visits 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. Trail use is currently comprised of approximately 80% cyclists and 20% pedestrians. The increase in user volumes and modes has led to increased user conflicts in urban trail sections. This has been recognized as a pressing issue that is expected to grow without a change to trail design.

This project aims to:

  • Create safer, more comfortable conditions for all trail users.
  • Accommodate an increase in use over the next 20 years.
  • Help the region meet its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting active transportation.
  • Improve safety and visibility by lighting key locations such as underpasses.
  • Renew three trestles nearing end of serviceable life.

    Why is the 6.5m Separated Use Pathway design proposed?

    The proposed design is based on active transportation design guidelines 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 Regional Trails Widening Study completed in 2020 recommends lighting be installed at key intervals along the trails to increase safety and visibility. This approach is also recommended in the BC Active Transportation Design Guide.

    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 and include a variety of colour temperatures.

    When will the construction occur?

    Trail improvement construction will take place in a phased approach over a number of years, likely starting in 2025.

    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. The CRD will also work with Indigenous cultural monitors to mitigate potential impacts to cultural heritage sites.

    As sections identified in this project are active commuter corridors, the CRD will strive to minimize closure durations and establish detours where and when necessary to ensure continuity of use.