November 10, 2014
The Shuswap, British Columbia – People are calling for healthier community design that makes walking and cycling easier, safer, and more common. Official Community Plans, greenway strategies, and more recently, active transportation plans consistently place infrastructure supporting easier to walk and more connected communities at the top of the to-do list. And candidates throughout the electoral areas within the Shuswap have spoken out.
The Shuswap Trail Alliance recently invited candidates in each of the Shuswap electoral areas the opportunity to share their thoughts on the importance of active transportation (walking and cycling strategies), greenways, and trails. Their comments are posted unedited at www.shuswaptrailalliance.com.
Two questions were posed for this election period, both based on current community priorities to get people active, healthy, and using two feet to move throughout the Shuswap. They were:
1. Given the growing priority placed on healthy options for active transportation, what strategic actions need to be taken over the next 4 years to significantly improve walking and cycling connectivity in our communities and the region?
2. We are currently faced with an unprecedented economic opportunity to secure and manage the abandoned CP Rail line between Sicamous and Armstrong as a destination greenway corridor for walking and cycling – in what ways should our communities work together to support the regional effort to secure the corridor?
“We were struck by how consistent the support for improved walking and cycling connectivity is,” says Phil McIntyre-Paul, Executive Director for the Shuswap Trail Alliance. “We’ve clearly moved from a place of asking if this is a good idea, to one of asking how can we make it happen. People want to be able to walk.”
Phil notes that many candidates are doing their homework on the now proven benefits of improving how we design our communities. “There is a demonstrated direct link to the ability of people to walk and cycle within their communities and the overall economic health of those community,” notes Phil, pointing to recent studies showing people are choosing to live and start businesses in communities with active greenway trails, paths, and bicycle routes.
The range of candidate commentary includes detailed suggestions for establishing community active transportation master plans (linking walking, cycling, and public transit), to championing regional partnerships to acquire and manage the now abandoned CP rail line as a continuous greenway corridor.
To see candidate’s full responses and for more info on trails throughout the Shuswap visit www.shuswaptrails.com.