Talking traffic critical to liveable community

The master plan is intended to direct the city as it enhances travel networks and develops trails, transit options, roads and public spaces.

The City of Colwood will hit the streets in search of opinions as it works toward its transportation master plan.

The master plan is intended to direct the city as it enhances travel networks and develops trails, transit options, roads and public spaces.

“With the development that’s going on and the fact that traffic is becoming more and more congested, we need to have some tangible steps we can take,” said Emmet McCusker, deputy city engineer. “We’re looking to come up with what we want Colwood’s streets to look like and feel like and bring them back to being more community oriented, while handling the traffic flow.”

The plan will look at the city’s roadways but also concentrate heavily on alternatives, such as bicycle and pedestrian routes.

Transit is another primary focus, and as such B.C. Transit is involved in the process. The Capital Regional District is also involved in regards to regional trail networks.

“We want to be able to transform our community to be more liveable,” McCusker said, “to be the kind of place where people want to live and work in and invest in and create businesses in.”

The plan is being developed in conjunction with others in Colwood including the economic development plan, the rainwater management plan and a land use bylaw update.

Each feeds information to the others and the terms of references for each are intertwined, requiring consultants to bear in mind each of them.

The goal is to have the transportation plan completed by May 2014.

To that end the city is looking for input from the public.

A Colwood Café event on Wednesday, Nov. 20 will give the public an opportunity to learn more about the process and provide input on how they use transportation in Colwood, what challenges they face and what opportunities they see for the future.

Guest speaker Gordon Price, an urban planner from Vancouver, will share stories about what other communities have achieved through transportation strategies.

The event starts at 6 p.m. at Royal Roads University in the Mews Conference Centre. RSVP by calling Colwood City Hall at 250-478-5999 or emailing transportation@colwood.ca by Monday, Nov. 18.

The city has plans for other events at RRU which will feature guest speakers.

“We’re trying to improve the mindset on the entire West Shore,” McCusker said.

An online survey is available for Colwood residents and stakeholders now at colwood.ca.

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