A new path will be unveiled in Ucluelet next month.
South side residents have long clamoured for safe passage across a particularly bendy and sidewalkless section of Peninsula Road between Coast Guard Road and He-Tin-Kis.
Ucluelet’s municipal council has responded to these concerns by putting together a $55,000 gravel path project that will separate pedestrians from vehicles.
The Island Coastal Economic Trust has put $18,000 towards the project and $29,000 is being taken from Ucluelet’s Resort Municpality Initiative Coffers, according to the District of Ucluelet’s Facebook page. The path will be two metres wide and 240 metres long and a buffer will run between the new path and the road. It is expected to be ready to walk on in mid-February and the district office is assuring residents that it’s gravel terrain will be paved later this year.
Mayor Dianne St. Jacques told the Westerly News that safety was the key motivator for the path’s installation and that public input was key in pushing it forward.
“It’s been on the books for a while, but definitely the community keeping it in the forefront was a help,” she said. “It’s always easier to do things with community support.”
She said local parents were particularly clear about the need for a path so that local kids walking to and from school would not have to make their way through that section of road, which features hazardous blindspots for drivers.
“Community safety and the safety of our kids is definitely a number one priority,” she said. “It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that that road is pretty hazardous to walk, or ride a bike, on…That is just such a hazardous area and with so many visitors going down to the wild pacific trail, it needed to be done.”
She added it is important for council to be receptive to the community’s feedback and she encourages locals to voice their concerns and ideas.
“We are the community. We are part of the community. We are elected by the community to make decisions on the community’s behalf…We gather all the information we can and then make the best decisions we can,” she said. “The important piece of it all, is getting input from the people who live in our community because that’s what we’re there for. That’s why we do what we do.”