Thursday, May 25, 2023

The latest notes on the planning for the Cloudberry Trail shared with Council through Presentation Tuesday

Kaien Trails Sean Carlson making a presentation to Council
on Tuesday related to the Cloudberry Trail plans 

The next big urban escape for Prince Rupert area residents is still in the planning stages, but getting closer to a start to phase one, that the main theme coming out of a Tuesday presentation to Prince Rupert City Council from Sean Carlson with Kaien Trails.

Mr. Carlson offered up a ten minute presentation followed up by about ten minutes of questions and discussion from City Council members towards the work ahead. 

He started his overview  with some history of the past work by Kaien Trails highlighting the work on the Rushbrook Trail noting of their partnership such as the City and industry to create the urban walkway.

He also provided a thumbnail guide to their Master Plan for expanding on the trail network in the community, which brought him to the focus on the Cloudberry Trail, observing that to date they had raised 2.1 million dollars. 

Carlson noting that with the cost of building in Prince Rupert expensive the 2 million dollars is a small fraction of the cost ahead towards trail development , but that it has made for a good start.

"For that first phase we have secured a contractor to do a design build, so this means that they are going to do the design planning and then construction of this section that will connect from the Civic Centre to about Prince George Street.

And then we have a second phase for design permitting only that we're just beginning. So both those projects came through Provincial and Federal funding to the tune of 1.6 million dollars,  so that makes up a portion of that 2.1 million, the rest is a half million dollar commitment through PRPA through their Community Investment Fund and that is contingent to getting some additional match funding for the remainder"

The scope of the overall plan for the Cloudberry Trail made for the next segment of the presentation.

"This will be a multi use pathway, this is to a higher, or different standard than what we built Rushbrook, we want to make trails and access to the outdoors accessible.  This means bike friendly, mobilities friendly so individual with unique mobilities wheelchairs and that type  of thing, it's not intended yet to be a paved pathway just because of the cost, but to be a hard surface and something that can give people the confidence to access outdoor recreation. 

We see it as a vital link to connect to existing facilities like Tall Trees and Butze, Oliver Lake, even to create an Active Transportation Network out to Ridley Island.  So to get people who may want to cycle or commute out to Ridley. How can they do that without being on the road? Well eventually, hopefully this trail can do that.

And then get out to Galloway Rapids where the District of Port Ed is themselves planning a waterfront pathway and Park in that area.  So it creates this access to you know existing and future destinations that would be good for the community and then for visitors or tourists coming to the community" 

Taking on the work as the Kaien Trails contractor is a Terrace firm Access Mountain, they will be working on phase one from the Civic Centre and where Prince George Street intersects with Highway 16. 

Carlson observed of some of the other features in the Civic Centre area including plans for a pump track and a mountain biking park near Mount Oldfield, adding how the cloudberry plans will resemble some other walkways of note in the province.

"It would be a there metre wide bi directional pathway, so people moving in both directions, safe for cyclists safe, for walkers to be able to get around.  Kind of like your Stanley Park, or Galloping goose or Lockside trails in those other major communities. Or even similar to the Millennium Trail along the highway in Terrace.

Beyond a chance to update Council and the community on their plans, Mr. Carlson was also there to seek some assistance by the City with the province towards their plans, noting how as a non profit they rely on the support of others including the City.

"The first ask that the Society has is your permission to essentially submit the plans and design for this first phase of Cloudberry to MOTI sort of on behalf of the city.  The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure won't permit or allow non-profits to build on their right of way. They will only allow municipalities or Regional District so we need your support here"

The second request was for the remainder of the work they have plans for, towards that they are asking for staff to work with Kaien Trails towards keeping the process moving forward.

To wrap up his presentation, Mr. Carlson outlined an upcoming event on September 9th, the Kaien Trailblazer, as well as their Kaien Coastal Rider program that provides for accessibility to the trails for those with mobility concerns.

There were a few observations from Council members, with Councillor Adey expressing his excitement at the plans ahead to open up the community, seeking a few more details on the nature of the trial such as grade and difficulty level towards it.

Carlson outlined how the Cloudberry Trail would strive to meet the guidelines from the BC Active Transportation guidelines.

Councillor Niesh asked towards a timeline for the work to come.

He was advised that they hope to break ground on Phase One by September, noting that they have a deadline to spend their one million dollars by march of 2024.

Councillor Skelton Morven noted of the large crowd in attendance at the session, something which Mr. Carlson observed was probably related to another discussion topic.

"I think most of these folks here though are here for a second petition, but as his worship said I just took the opportunistic view of having them all in the room, So I appreciate again all of your support"

Councillor Forster noted of the Adaptive riding capabilities in town and asked how that program could be accessed.

Councillor Cunningham also thanked Kaien Trails for their work and saluted the volunteers that work with the Society.  He hailed the work on Rushbrook and how it's become an active location for residents and visitors alike.

He also asked some follow up questions towards the surface of the trail and how it will respond to the elements that Prince Rupert are known for.

As for the two requests, Council members would attend to those in the regular council session, with the City Manager charting the path forward towards the two asks from Kaien Trails.

"We have been working with Kaien Trails for a long time, the project is well known and well supported by the City, I would recommend at this time that Committee and Council recommend that Council in Open Agenda adopt  both requested resolutions then they can be brought forward to the Open Agenda"

Council later made quick work of the two requests as part of Regular Council session 

You can review Mr. Carlson's presentation from the start of the council session, the Council discussion towards moving forward on their requests comes at the one hour seven minute mark.

More from the Tuesday Council session can be reviewed from our Archive page.

We keep track of the latest Developments from Kaien Trails here, from that link you can access their website and Social media feed to explore more of their plans .

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