With grant secured, PR council will engage public

Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

Town of Peace River was successful in its application of the Active Transportation Fund!
And now, $50,000 will be allocated to its West Side Active Transportation Plan.
The Active Transportation Fund is a federal government investment of $400 million, earmarked to help Canadian municipalities fund projects that enhance active transportation networks in communities.
“The plan was initially just to look at active (foot, bike type) transportation on the west side of the river but has been changed to have an overall look at the town in general,” says Mayor Elaine Manzer.
“One of the goals of the Town’s Strategic Plan is to ‘Build a Physically Connected Community’ and this plan would be used to do the long-term overall planning for the connections,” she adds.
The West Side Active Transportation Plan project was awarded to Bunt and Associates following a public procurement process. The submitted proposal and consultant recommendations led council to expand their considerations to an Active Transportation Plan (ATP) for the entire town.
“This funding will incorporate routes and types of infrastructure that the Town would possibly do to complete the goal,” says Manzer.
“After council receives the results of the study provided by the grant, there would be consideration in the future operating and capital plans for implementation schedules. So, over several years, different aspects of the plan would be considered and enacted.”
ATP include any type of human powered or power-assistant transportation and is often linked to cycling and walking trail plans.
Council notes other transportation like skateboards, inline skating, skiing, and skating are often also included in the plans. Other modes have been recently introduced like pedal assisted or electric bicycles, electric scooters, and other mobility devices.
“At this time, the plan includes a process for a public engagement schedule,” says Manzer.
“According to the schedule, during both Phase 1 (Fall 2022 – Winter 2023) and Phase 2 (Winter 2023 – Spring 2023), there will be some types of public surveys. The format has yet to be determined.”
The final ATP is expected to be presented between summer and fall 2023.
Manzer says the project all fits as part of council’s strategic plans on promoting healthy active lifestyles for all ages in the town.

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