Complete Streets for Prince Rupert took advantage of Seafest festivities to conduct a survey on how Rupertites get around town and what safety measures they want to see for both pedestrians and cyclists.
“What surprised us most of all was despite people reporting driving and walking as their most usual ways to get around, most people preferred safety intervention, that is protected bicycle paths, even though it didn’t seem to benefit driving or walking,” said Chris Lightfoot, an advocate and founding member of CSPR.
Ninety-nine people answered the survey’s questions, showing 58.7 per cent drove, 29.8 per cent walked while only 8.7 per cent cycled to reach Prince Rupert’s downtown. One participant, the survey results notes, observed that the buses weren’t running on the day of the survey, which might skew results.
Of the safety measures suggested, protected bike paths came in first place with 29 votes. Better sidewalks was the runner-up result with 22 votes, while better visibility and slower vehicle speed received 16 and 13 votes respectively.
“You can’t say we don’t need protected bike paths because no one bikes here. It really overlooks the fact that people want to bike,” he said.
Lightfoot said better visibility could come in several forms, such as better and more lighting, or different types of crossings like curb extensions.
Participants also mapped out where they thought the streets were most dangerous to walk, bike, use wheelchairs or drive. All of Sixth Avenue East was highlighted as being hazardous to cyclists and having poor wheelchair access for the bus service. Third Avenue West had six points on the survey’s map.
“We’re not expecting a huge change in urban planning, but it would be nice if the results to create more of a conversation around town about how people feel about moving around Prince Rupert and what they would like to see to make our streets safer to walk and roll and ride bikes,” Lightfoot said.
Read the full Complete Streets survey results at www.completestreetsforprincerupert.com/seafest-2018.