IMPROVED sidewalks on important routes such as schools and businesses, upgraded and new sidewalks in downtown, a more connected bike route, more bike lanes, a better bike infrastructure, and an enhanced north-south connectivity for walking and cycling are some of the key ideas district of Squamish will implement as part of its Active Transportation plan. The district adopted the plan to make it easier for people to walk, cycle, or travel.
“It will help shape changes to infrastructure and support programs that will encourage all of us to use active forms of transportation more often — whetherfor work, pleasure, or day-to-day personal travels for shopping, visiting friends and family or running errands,” said district spokesperson, Christina Moore.
“By providing residents with more choices for moving around Squamish, we will promote personal health and recreation, help manage congestion, reduce emissions and support our town as it grows.”
Sidewalks will be improved so there are better connections to downtown Squamish and other key commercial retail and employment areas in the District. The plans calls for additional sidewalks or other types of pedestrian infrastructure for major streets, streets adjacent to schools, businesses, and streets that are serviced by transit.
Third Avenue, Government Road, Buckley Avenue, Westway Avenue, and Depot Road are some of the roads where additional sidewalk or pedestrian infrastructure is recommended. The district also plans to improve sidewalks that have not been maintained within downtown Squamish or are in poor condition, especially where many of these sidewalks are quite far setback from the street and are not used frequently because they are not well connected or visible.
These sidewalks are located in a cluster on portions of Victoria Street, Fourth and Fifth Avenue. Connecting the community through bike routes is another major focus of the plan.
The district wants to create a cycling network which will serve users of all ages and abilities and offer practical route options for those interested in cycling, especially those who may not be comfortable riding on busy streets with high traffic volumes and speeds.
This cycling network should provide direct routes to key destinations such as downtown Squamish, commercial destinations and community facilities. Several routes have been identified for upgrades, including: Corridor Trail, Westway Avenue, Government Road Corridor and Mamquam Road.
Creating a better bike infrastructure such as painted buffers, elevations, protected bike lanes separated from the sidewalks, paved shoulders are some of the improvements along with an improvement on the local trails to better connect the town are being planned as part of the active transportation plan.
The first set of projects is scheduled for 2016 and includes improvements for pedestrian, cyclists and transit users with upgrades to intersection and two bus shelters.