Wild Pacific Trail manager 'Oyster' Jim Martin has mapped out a new path from He-Tin-Kis Park to Coast Guard Road.

Ucluelet boosts safety with new path

Ucluelet to install trail from He-Tin-Kis to Coast Guard Road.

A new $75,000 trail is en route to connect Ucluelet’s He-Tin-Kis Park to Coast Guard Road.

South Ucluelet residents have been clamouring for a trail to separate walkers from drivers along that particularly narrow curve of Peninsula Road and Ucluelet’s municipal council was able to creatively oblige their request by bringing the Wild Pacific Trail Society on board.

Trail manager Oyster Jim Martin mapped out a route the new trail could take and council loved what they saw when they toured through his work on July 18.

“It will actually be even better than we envisioned it,” beamed Coun. Marilyn McEwen during Aug. 9’s regular council meeting. “It’s good to see how it’s going to be a safe conductor for people leaving the [Wild Pacific] Trail through He-Tin-Kis and getting over to Coast Guard Road,”

Coun. Randy Oliwa said he was “blown away” by the route Martin envisioned and said he had doubted a safe walkway could be achieved when council first toured the area last year.

“We walked that stretch as council, with public works, many times and that section looked like it was straight up and the sidewalk was going to have to go right along the road and that telephone pole was going to have to come out of there,” Oliwa said. “But, after Jim brushed it, it’s actually quite flat [and] quite level.”

Oliwa added that he was thrilled to see Martin’s route include a buffer of trees that would separate pedestrians, most notably young students headed to school, from the road’s traffic.

“I was pleasantly surprised,” he said.

“When I first went in there, I sort of had a preconceived idea that it wasn’t going to work but bravo to the group…all the people who got that thing together because it’s above and beyond what I actually thought was going to happen.”

District CAO Andrew Yeates said the new path is expected to be completed this fall.