Smithers Town Council has voted in favour of the installation of a King-Main Cycling Spine as a part of its Active Transportation Plan during last night’s Regular Council Meeting.
It was approved with a vote of 4-2 in favour with Councillor John Buikema and Councillor Frank Wray opposed.
The cycling spine would go down the entire length of King Street from Railway to Main Street and Tenth Avenue.
According to a staff report, this would eliminate on street parking throughout the entire area.
A report added that the safety of Highway 16 and King Street crossing will be improved as a cycling push button is proposed to be installed at the intersection this summer.
Buikema said he supports an Active Transportation Plan but feels council may be losing sight at the fact that Smithers is a community with people from across the Northwest.
“I find we’re making it harder and harder for those people to come to Smithers and find places to park and just to go about their business and the last thing I want to do is discourage all of those folk from coming to Smithers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Councillor Mika Meyer showed her support for the Cycling Spines.
She said these could increase safety in the area and allow for more space.
“That road was not built to have parking on both sides, so I definitely do support this spine and I do think parking is always going to be an issue, unfortunately sometimes I understand people that have accessibility issues it’s definitely a challenge,” Meyer said.
Additionally, Council also approved submitting an application to the Canada Active Transportation Grant program for the widening of Main Street for the bicycle spines and the Cycle 16 Connector on Fairgrounds land.
The widening of Main Street is estimated to cost $113 thousand and the Cycle 16 Connector is estimated at $544,000.