Carol Hamilton says it’s about bringing youth into the picture.
Royal Bay secondary students have been interviewed by Colwood staff about the construction and trail design of the new Painter Trail and two are being hired to work on it.
The new route, starting at the corner of Painter and Dressler roads, winds through a sloped park and the former gravel pit and will connect to Ryder Hesjedal Way, right next to the school.
“(Youth) can be a part of the plan. There are lots of ways we can bring youth into the picture,” said the Colwood mayor. “They’re the future taxpayers and they’re the ones that will be returning once they have completed their educational goals.”
Work on the new trail has already begun. The plan for this pathway is not only to provide students with a new walking or cycling route to school, but to lead people to new amenities in Royal Bay including the Neighbourhood House, which will feature a new restaurant and café.
The new Meadow Park green space off Latoria Boulevard – the last stretch leading from Latoria Road to Metchosin Road – will also be nearby. Because of the steep incline, the trail features a handful of switchbacks which will keep the incline at six per cent or less all the way to the top of the hill.
“At the end of the day people will be appreciative of the additional safe walkway rather than (having to) traverse (Metchosin Road), which is quite windy and blowy,” Hamilton said. “This will bypass all that.”
The park section of the trail will be paved, while the trail across the former gravel pit area will feature a crushed gravel base. A split-rail fence will border the entire length of trail. Plans include a provision for a potential shortcut bypassing the switchback for trail users who don’t require the level grade.
Other potential considerations include a three-way stop at the intersection of Painter, Dressler and Cotlow roads, low-impact lighting to minimize light pollution, garbage bins along the trail, bat boxes to encourage bats and a design that would discourage people from using it as a drop-off or parking area.
The trail is expected to be completed in September, just in time for the new school year.