Transportation plan needed to meet future challenges

David F. Rooney
David F. Rooney

If you drive, bike or walk anywhere in the city you know there are problems: dodgy — even dangerous — intersections, a lack of bike lanes, streets with ample parking and others that never seem to have any. These issues could become acute if they are not addressed as the city grows.

But how do you do that, if you’re a municipal official or a City Councillor, if there is no plan on the books?

Well, obviously you can’t. So that’s why the City of Revelstoke is seeking your opinion on what works… and what doesn’t. The catch — and there’s always a catch — is that you have to spend a few minutes filling out an online survey to tell city staff what you think about transportation now.

Once all is said and done your opinion, my opinion and all the other opinions Revelstokians have about transportation will be boiled down, analyzed by consultants, digested by staff and Council and eventually be burped up as a Comprehensive Transportation Plan that will, ideally, be good for years to come.

But, as I say, you have to tell the City what you think. Consultants from Boulevard Transportation Group began surveying the public in August and have so far received 122 surveys. But more are needed. You can post your two cents worth by clicking here, right now:, clicking tthe right-hand page where it says Comprehensive Transportation Plan Survey and filling out the survey that pops up on your screen. The City is apparently reluctant to mail out the survey because so many people have told the Post Office they don’t want to receive mass mailings.

So far, the preliminary survey results, which were released at a public meeting at the Community Centre on Tuesday evening, haven’t told us anything about some things that most people didn’t already know. A lot of people think the intersection of Fourth Street and Victoria Road is dangerous, parking is tight on Connaught and Mackenzie avenues and Victoria Road is the busiest artery in town.

But how about these little factoids: almost as many people bike or walk to work or school as drive alone and most people want more bike lanes and trails? Are those priorities that you think the City should pursue first? Or do you think it should build a second bridge across the Illecillewaet? Does our city need a full-service airport? Or are you content with driving to Kelowna, Kamloops or Calgary when you want to fly away from here?

“The City needs a master transportation plan and we don’t have one right now,” Brian Mallett, director of engineering and public works, told a small audience of about 20 people who attended the meeting. “We need to know what our transportation needs will be five, 10 or 20 years in the future.”

And the only way to determine what those needs are is to survey members of the public. That means you and me and all our friends and neighbours.

The final results along with a variety of options will be presented to the public at a second public meeting slated for Nov. 25. The final plan is to be completed by the end of January, 2010.