Active Transportation Plan
The Town of Smithers, throughout the spring and summer of 2019, will be working to create its first Active Transportation Plan (ATP) to better support active mobility options in our community. This includes any method of human-powered transportation that you take to get yourself, or others, from one place to another, such as destinations for a specific purpose (e.g., school, work, shopping, etc.) or for recreation and leisure. The ATP will set the foundation for developing well-connected, attractive active transportation networks that are safe, convenient and accessible for people of all ages and abilities. On a broader scale, the plan will also further the Town’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by replacing carbon dioxide (CO2) generating transportation with active transportation options and decreasing dependency on fossil fuels vehicles.
This project has been funded through the Province of British Columbia Rural Dividend Program.
The Smithers ATP is not simply an application of best practices from elsewhere, rather, the plan and process will seek to reflect the neighbourhood, people, climate and geography of Smithers. Public involvement is a core component to achieving a “made in Smithers ATP” and will provide an opportunity to not only exchange ideas, information and concerns with the community, but also seek advice and innovation to encourage dialogue that will establish common ground for action.
In the Spring of 2019, the Town of Smithers and the consulting team engaged the community to kick off the community conversation and awareness about the Active Transportation Planning Process. Click on the following link to view a PDF of the information and displays shared with community members at the May 1st Ideas Fair.
The attached “What We Heard” document outlines how the community of Smithers was engaged (i.e. “What Was Done”) and summarizes key themes and directions that resulted from community feedback (i.e. “What We Heard).
Here’s how you can get involved moving forward:
- Open House. In early September 2019 (date TBA) attend the Open House to learn about the draft Smithers Active Transportation Plan and provide your feedback on the recommended strategies and overall plan direction.
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The purpose of the Smithers ATP is to identify strategies that integrate accessible, multi-use, pedestrian and cycling improvements to replace CO2 generating transportation and decrease dependency on fossil fuel vehicles with active transportation alternatives. Specific objectives of the ATP are to:
- Increase the safety and frequency of use of active transport;
- Improve connections between downtown, residential neighbourhoods, schools, rural residential areas and front country tourism assets;
- Create measurable targets that increase active transportation choices by 2021; and
- Advance the Town’s commitment to reducing GHG emissions.
Over the last decade, Smithers has completed numerous plans and processes related to community sustainability, accessibility and infrastructure improvements. These previous documents serve as the foundation for Smithers Active Transportation Plan to both connect with and build upon. These include:
- Smithers Bike Route Map
- Trails Plan 2019
- Town of Smithers Official Community Plan BL. 1614, 2010
- Age-Friendly Assessment and Action Plan 2016
- Pedestrian Plan March 2019
- 2015-2018 Smithers Council Strategic Priorities
- Community & Corporate Energy and GHG Emissions Reduction Plans (2012)
Mark Allen, P. Eng
Director of Development Services
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