The results are in from the Pender Island Transportation Survey for residents and can be found here.

Multi-use trails

October 19, 2010

Cyclists getting around Pender will inevitably have to deal with our narrow roads and steep hills. While tolerable for some, on road cycling isn’t for everybody (traveling with children can be a particularly nervy affair ! 😉 and the availability of off road multi-use trails (such as the Lochside/Galloping Goose network on Vancouver Island) would make it much easier to replace car trips with healthy, enviro friendly bike trips. Bike trails can provide short cuts or simply quieter/safer routes for those unable/unwilling to tackle the roads.

At this point, there are no multi-use (pedestrian/bike/stroller) friendly trails on Pender. Bikes are explicitly not permitted on any of the existing PIPRC trails, nor within the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. As with everything in life, having bikes on trails has its pros and cons … as noted above, an off road trail greatly increases the range of the public able to use bike for transportation but using a bike on trails not built for them can adversely impact the environment through accelerated erosion. Multi use trails typically cost more to build and take up more space, though considerably less than a full fledged road for motor vehicles. Even for those unable to ride, a trail built to handle bikes will be much easier to walk on, providing exercise opportunities for those whose physical abilities aren’t up for a steep climb over tree roots. Such trails would also be wheel chair accessible, another segment of the population to benefit.

What do you think ? What things are important to build into the trails themselves and the regulations governing their use to protect the environment ? Would you use these trails if they were available ? How much are multi use trails worth ? Overall I think the net benefit to the community and environment is huge and I welcome your comment and suggestions on how we can make such trails a reality here on Pender.

Don Harrison presented a number of considerations in response to the LTC call for input on greenhouse gas mitigation. For full text see MAP-LTC28jan10.pdf