Surveys show Kamloops residents love their trails and walkways. They love them for walking, for cycling and for running.
City parks planning supervisor Mike Doll told council in a workshop Tuesday the pedestrian plan and the trails plan are being worked on together because there are overlaps.
In fact, the City’s bicycle master plan is also a fit, with many of the same issues cropping up in public consultations with all three areas.
Doll said connectivity among trails and links among neighbourhoods has arisen as a big priority at public open houses.
Trails users want improvements to the existing network and expansion, as well as more maps and signs and washrooms.
Pedestrians want improvements to their sidewalks and safety.
Doll said the trails plan calls for classifications of all City trails on a scale of one to five, from easiest to hardest, based on width, grade and surface.
People also love the Rivers Trail, but want it finished. However, cost, land ownership and access are factors to be considered, he said.
On the pro-active side, the plan identifies property that is privately owned or Crown owned that in future, could be a good connection. If there’s a subdivision in that area, the City might want to use that as a park/trail bargaining chip, he said.
City transportation planner Erin Felker said the pedestrian plan is being updated from the 2002 document. In some areas, full concrete sidewalks are too expensive or don’t fit for other reasons. In those cases, the City will try to create a pedestrian walkway with a paved road shoulder.
In merging the trails, pedestrian and cycling plans, City staff realized there were similar priorities. Seven projects were high priorities in all three plans; three projects were near the top of two plans, another 12 were bicycle projects, three were classified as pedestrian and six as trails.
She suggested the City look at setting aside $1.6 million a year for 10 years to implement all of the projects.
Currently, the City puts $1.1 million a year into cycling, pedestrian and trails projects. The Sustainable Kamloops Plan called for a 50 per cent increase in that amount, putting it at $1.6 million.
Grants, development cost charges, gaming money and gas tax are other funding sources beyond taxation, she said.
The two planners said they would take council’s comments under consideration in drafting the final plan to come forward for adoption.